South Ayrshire Council has closed two shellfish harvesting areas covering North Bay, Barassie, Culzean Bay, Croy, Turnberry, and Meikle Craigs at Prestwick due to high levels of marine biotoxin in shellfish.
Marine algae sometimes produce toxins which can accumulate in the flesh of shellfish and cause amnesic shellfish poisoning (ASP) in humans if consumed. The levels of biotoxin came to light as a result of routine sampling under Food Standards Scotland’s Algal Toxins in Shellfish Monitoring Programme. The restrictions will remain in place until the results of further sampling show that marine algae levels or shellfish flesh samples have reduced to acceptable level.
The closure to commercial fishing does not affect bathing conditions at any of the sites. However, members of the public are strongly advised not to gather shellfish from the shores at Barassie, Croy, Turnberry, Culzean or Prestwick for their personal consumption due to the serious potential health risk. Warning signs have been posted along the affected coastline.