Shellfish Assessment Contract

Carcinus undertaking water quality assessments for the Food Standards AgencyCarcinus Ltd is delighted to be undertaking water quality assessments to determine provisional representative monitoring points and boundaries for new shellfish harvesting areas in England and Wales for 2017 to 2019.

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, such as mussels, oysters, scallops and razor clams. Under Regulation (EC) 854/2004, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) as a central competent authority, must establish the location and fix the boundaries of classified shellfish harvesting areas.

On the basis of the bacteriological criteria, using the faecal coliform indicating bacteria, Escherichia coli, the competent authority must list and classify these harvesting areas according to the degree of contamination as determined by samples of mollusc flesh collected from a Representative Monitoring Point (RMP – for managed aquaculture and wild fisheries). Carcinus are delighted to be supporting the FSA by undertaking provisional boundary assessments and designating the provisional representative monitoring points to enable sampling to be initiated at new harvest areas for classification purposes. The assessments will focus on a review of the geographic, hydrodynamic and environmental characteristics of the area and the identification and assessment of any potential sources of faecal and chemical contamination. All sources will be considered, including continuous point sources (waste water outfalls), intermittent sources (e.g., Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs)) and rural / urban diffuse sources.

This projects builds on the extensive experience that Carcinus and its staff have in undertaking water quality studies for a wide range of purposes including:

  • Environmental baseline characterisation and impact assessment
  • Water Framework Directive (WFD) assessments
  • Shellfish hygiene
  • Bathing water quality 
  • Catchment based studies