Shellfish Assessments - provisional Representative Monitoring Points and Boundaries

Shellfish - Sanitary Surveys and Assessment

Regulation (EC) 854/2004 specifies the health conditions for the production and placing on the market of live bivalve molluscs, tunicates, echinoderms and marine gastropods. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) as the central competent authority, must establish sampling plans and boundaries for shellfish harvesting areas and classify these on the basis of concentrations of the faecal coliform indicating bacteria, Escherichia coli measured within shellfish flesh. The degree of contamination is determined by samples of shellfish flesh collected from a Representative Monitoring Point (RMP). Carcinus Ltd is contracted by the FSA to assist in fulfilling its obligations under Regulation (EC) 854/2004. To fulfill this require, Carcinus undertakes an assessment of all new shellfish harvesting applications to evaluate sources and types of microbiological contamination that may affect the area applied for. This process is referred to as a 'Sanitary Survey'; these assessments consider the following information which is assessed to determine the location for sampling (the RMP), the sampling plan and the boundary for classification:

  • The location and extent of the applied for area;
  • The species of shellfish to be harvested;
  • The method and seasonality of harvest;
  • The location of sewage discharges, their nature of discharge, treatment type and volume;
  • Freshwater inputs and diffuse urban and rural pollution;
  • Other sources including moored vessels and wildlife;
  • Hydrodynamics; and
  • Existing and past shellfish classification status and EC designated bathing waters results.

Sanitary survey reports for England and Wales undertaken since April 2017 can be found by clicking on the relevant locations in the map below:

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