Warning on shellfish toxin levels

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Published Date: 

26 May 2015 - 12:14

ARGYLL and Bute Council's environmental health team has identified raised levels of naturally occurring algal toxins following routine monitoring work at a number of areas in Argyll and Bute  

These naturally occurring toxins accumulate in shellfish such as cockles, mussels, oysters or razor clams. When levels reach certain limits, harvesting of the affected species is prohibited, as consumption can pose a health risk. Warning notices for the public and casual gatherers have been posted at various locations on the shore. Commercial shellfish harvesters in the affected areas have been contacted by the council, with steps taken to postpone harvesting until algae levels subside.

The areas currently closed for harvesting are:

Loch Fyne: Ardcastle Bay, Stonefield Bay, Ardkinglas

Loch Striven

Kilbrannan Sound (Campbeltown Loch): Kildalloig Bay, Carradale Bay, Machrie Bay (Arran), Saddell Bay, Pirnmill (Arran)

As a sensible precaution, people should avoid eating shellfish from this area until further notice.

However, some parts of Loch Fyne closed previously have now been reopened:

Loch Fyne: Otter Point, Balliemore, Stonefield.

The council’s monitoring work continues and, when levels subside, the warning notices will be removed.

For more information, please contact Argyll and Bute Council’s Regulatory Services team on 01631 567920 or Food Standards Scotland on 01224 285100. You can also find more information at http://www.foodstandards.gov.scot/food-safety-standards/advice-business-and-industry/shellfish/shellfish-results