Algal toxins affecting shellfish at Isle of Skye sites

The Highland Council’s Environmental Health Team based on the Isle of Skye has identified raised levels of naturally occurring algal toxins, following routine sampling work at a number of sites on Skye.

These particular toxins are known to accumulate within bivalve shellfish; bivalve shellfish species include Scallops, Mussels, Cockles, Oysters and Razor Clams. Once levels meet or exceed the regulatory limit, harvesting of bivalve shellfish is prohibited, as consumption may pose a risk to health.

Warning notices have been posted at various locations around the affected areas, so that members of the public are made aware of the situation. Commercial Shellfish Harvesters in the affected areas have been contacted by Environmental Health, with steps taken to postpone harvesting until the Algae levels drop.

The areas currently closed for harvesting are:

• Loch Sligachan
• Loch Ainort
• Loch Eishort
• Loch Slappin

As a sensible precaution, the public should avoid eating shellfish collected from these areas until further notice. The Environmental Health Team monitoring work continues, and once the Algae levels have dropped sufficiently, all warning notices will be removed.

Anyone concerned who wishes to discuss this matter should contact the Council’s Environmental Health Team on 01349 886603 or Food Standards Scotland on 01224 285100. More information on various sites and their sampling resultscan be found at

14 Jul 2015
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