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Risk Assessment Best Practice Guidelines for Shellfish Harvesters Published

Water quality Sustainability Technology & equipment +6 more

UK - Seafish, the industry authority on seafood, has published a guidance document to provide live bivalve mollusc harvesters with information on ways to improve risk assessments and make informed active management decisions.

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The Good Manufacturing Practice Guidelines have been created by Seafish following its Combined Sewage Overflow (CSO) text alert scheme in partnership with water and sewage companies.

Pilot projects with South West Water and Anglian Water has seen Seafish trial a solution to improve communications between water companies and harvesters with a text alert initiative that allows them to inform harvesters as soon as a CSO event occurs.

When CSO activity is triggered, a signal is sent to the water company for verification and an email alert sent to Seafish. A text alert is generated by Seafish with details of the CSO and sent to registered harvesters in the area affected.

The idea behind the scheme is that harvesters can use real-time information from the text alert to make more informed decisions about the potential impact of the CSO event on their area. The guidance document describes the scheme and what factors a harvester may take into consideration on receipt of a text such as wind and tide directions.

It is hoped the guidelines will encourage other harvesters and water companies throughout the UK to develop similar schemes in their area.

Mandy Pyke, an Aquaculture Adviser at Seafish, said: “We have been working closely with South West Water and Anglian Water to create an effective real-time communication channel that allows bivalve mollusc harvesters to make better calls on whether it is safe to harvest during a CSO event. We are confident that we have come up with a workable structure that harvesters can discuss with their local water company with the view to working together on a similar project.

“Our hope is for the text alert scheme to be incorporated into HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) plans resulting in safer seafood being delivered to market.”

The Good Manufacturing Practice Guidelines can be accessed from the Seafish website at