Displaying items by tag: shellfish
The 10th Shellfish Safety Workshop at the Marine Institute was attended by 140 participants including shellfish producers, processors, scientists and industry regulators to hear the latest advances in shellfish safety, including the discovery of an organism that causes harmful AZP toxins in shellfish as well as the use of satellite imagery and models to provide early warnings to fish farmers on harmful algal blooms and shellfish toxicity.
The workshop hosted by the Marine Institute, the Food Safety Authority of Ireland and the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority provided an opportunity to exchange information on the latest progress and research into the cause and control of shellfish toxicity and microbiological contamination of various shellfish products harvested and farmed around our coast.
Mr Richie Flynn of the Irish Shellfish Association said the huge effort and advances that have been made in understanding the nature of these issues are fundamental to the development of the industry. He went on to say "these successful biotoxin and microbiological monitoring programmes that we spent many years developing are now carried out very efficiently, and with the full support of the industry, but we must continue to invest in the most advanced analytical technologies and take advantage of advances in new smart communications in order to provide the best available advice to industry."
Dr Peter Heffernan, CEO Marine Institute said "Ireland has among the highest standards in shellfish safety worldwide because of the strict monitoring and control programmes in place here. Our scientists have led the way in the move to chemical testing for biotoxins and the development of molecular testing methods for shellfish viruses in recent years and this is now the standard across Europe."
Among the research presented at the workshop was the discovery of the organism that causes Azaspiracid, a group of naturally occurring marine toxins that can contaminate mussels. The shellfish industry was affected by this particularly in 2005 and 2012 with significant closures of shellfish production areas. The ASTOX project, which is nearing completion, was presented by Jane Kilcoyne, Conor Duffy and Rafael Salas, who gave updated information on the toxicology of the Azaspiracid group of toxins, the discovery of the causative organism responsible for Azaspiracid shellfish poisoning and how this toxin behaves in the human digestive system and studies on how it affects various tissues.
A new EU project using advanced satellite imagery, mathematical modelling and real time monitoring to provide short term predictions was demonstrated by Caroline Cusack, showing how this multidisciplinary approach may provide useful information on biotoxin outbreaks for shellfish producers.
Trends in shellfish toxins and toxic phytoplankton over the last four years were presented by Dave Clarke and Tara Chamberlain who both identified the extended occurrence of Azaspiracid in shellfish and red tides of the fish killing micro-algae "Karenia mikimotoi" of 2012 as being some of the worst we have seen.
Other research presented included a talk on shellfish hatchery technology by Iarfhlaith Connellan from Cartron Point Shellfish hatchery on Galway Bay on the production of triploid oysters to meet the demands of the Irish industry for oyster seed. Teresa Morrissey, Marine Institute presented the findings of a study to assess the presence and impact of oyster disease which caused oyster mortalities in several areas in recent years.
Bill Dore, John Flannery and Paulina Rajko-Nenow from the Marine Institute discussed the monitoring and detection of high levels of Norovirus contamination which is likely to be legislated for in shellfish in the future.
Dr. Georgina McDermott and Karen Creed from the EPA described measures introduced to reduce pressures and risks on the quality of shellfish, such as designated shellfish growing areas and pollution reduction programmes, and presented results showing certain areas are already improving in terms of eutrophication.
Conference organiser, Joe Silke from the Marine Institute, welcomed the strong attendance at the workshop. "Interest in these monitoring programmes and research activities from members of the industry is vital to ensure that the scientists and regulators are aware of relevant current and emerging issues". He said that the efforts made in controlling outbreaks, and research into understanding and forecasting them can only be successful in a clean and unpolluted environment, and recognised the huge efforts being made by the EPA in reducing and monitoring pollution. He thanked the other agencies including SFPA, FSAI and BIM in working together with the Marine Institute and the Irish Shellfish Association as a superb example of inter agency cooperation to deliver a set of programmes that are effective and efficient in reducing any risks associated with placing shellfish on the market.
#MarineScience - The 10th Shellfish Safety Science workshop will take place at the Marine Institute in Galway on Thursday 18 April 2013.
This one-day event is an opportunity for anyone working in the area of shellfish safety, including regulators, scientists as well as industry, to meet and exchange information on the latest advances in the field.
Irish regulatory agencies will provide updates on recent shellfish biotoxin, toxin-producing algae, harmful algal blooms and shellfish microbiology.
There will be presentations from research projects that are nearing completion on the toxicology and causative organism responsible for Azaspiracid shellfish poisoning which caused extensive economic hardship in 2012 and 2013.
A new EU project using advanced satellite imagery, mathematical modelling and real-time monitoring to provide short-term predictions will be demonstrated, showing how this multidisciplinary approach may provide useful information on biotoxin outbreaks for shellfish producers.
On the microbiological side, presentations on shellfish contamination from Norovirus and how the Shellfish Waters Directive aims to monitor and improve environmental conditions for shellfish cultivation will be given.
Further information on these and other aspects of the workshop are available on the Marine Institute website at www.marine.ie. Attendance is free but registration is required by emailing [email protected]
The £250,000 (€301,000) project by the Countryside Council for Wales involves attaching giant bags to the subsurface structures around the marina in Holyhead, which is hoped will stop the clean flow of water to the sea squirts, causing them to suffocate and die.
Marine biologist Rohan Holt, who is managing the project, said: “If we successfully eradicate the sea squirt, we will work hard to make sure that it does not recolonise.
"This will mean careful monitoring in Holyhead marina and other marinas and popular mooring areas throughout Wales to check that it hasn’t reappeared."
The sea creature threatens shellfish by spreading like a blanket across the seabed and other surfaces.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, colonies of the invasive Japanese sea squirt are posing a throat to mussel and scallop bed in the Menai Strait between Anglesey and the mainland.
Boats from Ireland have been blamed for carrying the invasive pest into Holyhead.
The Daily Post has more on the story HERE.
The moon will be at its closest to earth since 1993 on Saturday March 19th.
This "Lunar Perigee", or 'Super Moon' as some astrologers refer to it as, is the opposite of the "Lunar Apogee", when the Moon is furthest from Earth. Generally, the Moon looks about 12-14% larger at its perigee compared to its apogee.
This has the effect of causing very high and low tides, or increasing the range of the tide. This will expose large areas of beach and rocks which we normally don't see. Many people enjoy walking on our beaches and exploring these new areas of beach and in particular people enjoy picking shellfish to eat which become exposed during these very low tides.
The risk to the public will be of becoming stranded as the tide advances back in which can leave people in a position where they are cut off from the shore. Members of the public are cautioned to be aware of this risk and carry your mobile phone. Should you get in to trouble then call 112 or 999 and ask for Marine Rescue, giving your exact location and in particular if you are near to any conspicuous landmarks nearby to assist the Rescue Services in locating your whereabouts.
All seafarers, surfers, swimmers and divers should be aware of the increased tidal streams that will be running around our coast over the weekend; people could find themselves in peril as a result of these strong and fast tidal conditions which have not been experienced for some time now.