Argyll and Bute Council seizes £40,000 of illegal razor clams

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Published Date: 

21 Mar 2014 - 11:47

The council’s environmental health team intercepted a vehicle transporting the consignment of razor clams at Oban Ferry Terminal on Thursday 27 February.

The vehicle, travelling from Barra, was carrying 815kg of illegally harvested razor fish, which came from unclassified waters around Barra.

Shellfish farmed in unclassified areas are deemed to be legally unfit for human consumption and cannot enter the food chain.

Working with partner agencies including the Food Standards Agency Scotland, Marine Scotland and Police Scotland, the council’s environmental health officers, using powers under UK and European food safety legislation, detained the consignment.

They later applied for, and were granted, an order for destruction of the consignment from a Justice of the Peace. The consignment was later taken, by a local waste contractor, to be destroyed.

The catch was headed for Hong Kong, with an estimated market value of £40,000.

Argyll and Bute Council’s Policy Lead for Protective Services, Councillor David Kinniburgh, said: ‘’The council is advising shellfish harvesters, processors and food businesses to ensure that any shellfish intended for human consumption should be harvested from approved waters and be accompanied by the appropriate documentation.

‘’There are significant risks attached to the consumption of unsafe shellfish, not only for the consumer but for the local and national shellfish industry.

‘’We will be working with our partners to target similar activity by irresponsible harvesters and would welcome any information which would assist our environmental health officers in their enforcement work.

‘’We aim to ensure that products entering the food chain are safe and that we protect responsible businesses.’’