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Shellfish Quality

The Shellfish Hygiene Directive, although not a Directive directly protecting water quality, stipulates the level of treatment required depending on numbers of bacteria in the shellfish flesh. This Directive is designed to protect human health. Since shellfish are grown in the natural environment, it is a commonly held view that the concentration of bacteria in the flesh directly relates to the quality of the surrounding water in which they grow. The monitoring undertaken as a consequence of this Directive can therefore be used as an indicator of water quality.

Under the Shellfish Hygiene Directive, standards are set in terms of concentrations of coliform bacteria and salmonella. Shellfish are classed in categories ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’ and ‘P’ where ‘A’ is the highest quality and can be collected direct for human consumption. ‘P’ is the poorest quality and shellfish are prohibited from collection. Monitoring for the Shellfish Hygiene Directive is carried out by the local authorities and the data is collated by the Food Standards Agency. The table below lists the designated bivalve mollusc production areas in the study area and their individual classifications.

Bed Name

Species

Common Name

Class

Thames Estuary

 

 

 

Nid and NE Maplin Sands

Cardium edule

Common edible cockle

A

Foulness Sands

Cardium edule

Common edible cockle

A

Leigh Foreshore

Cardium edule

Common edible cockle

C

Leigh Foreshore

Mytilus edulis

Blue Mussel

C

Chapman Sands

Cardium edule

Common edible cockle

C

Chapman Sands

Mytilus edulis

Blue Mussel

C

Southend Flats

Mytilus edulis

Blue Mussel

C

Southend Flats

Cardium edule

Common edible cockle

B

West of Southend Pier

C.gigas

Pacific Oyster

B

Phoenix

Cardium edule

Common edible cockle

B

East Shoebury Beacon

Cardium edule

Common edible cockle

B

Scrapsgate

Cardium edule

Common edible cockle

B

Yantlet Flats

Mytilus edulis

Blue Mussel

B

Grain

Mytilus edulis

Blue Mussel

B

Sheppey

Mytilus edulis

Blue Mussel

B

North Kent Coast

 

 

 

The South Oaze

Mytilus edulis

Blue Mussel

B

Whitstable

Mytilus edulis

Blue Mussel

B

Whitstable Bay

C.gigas

Pacific oyster

B

Hern Hampton

Mytilus edulis

Blue Mussel

B

Beltinge Bay

Mytilus edulis

Blue Mussel

B

Herne

Mytilus edulis

Blue Mussel

B

Reculver

Mytilus edulis

Blue Mussel

B

Swalecliffe

Mytilus edulis

Blue Mussel

B

Pollard

C.gigas

Pacific oyster

B

Pollard

T.philippinaru

Manila Clam

B

Pollard

Cardium edule

Common edible cockle

B

East Last Bank

Ostrea edulis

Native or flat oyster

B

East Last Bank

Mytilus edulis

Blue Mussel

B

Clite Hole

Ostrea edulis

Native or flat oyster

B

Clite Hole

Mytilus edulis

Blue Mussel

B

The Street

Ostrea edulis

Native or flat oyster

B

The Street

Mytilus edulis

Blue Mussel

B

Kentish Flats

Ostrea edulis

Native or flat oyster

A

Kentish Flats

Cardium edule

Common edible cockle

B

North of Hook

Cardium edule

Common edible cockle

B

South of Hook

Cardium edule

Common edible cockle

B

Margate Sands

Cardium edule

Common edible cockle

B

Minnis Bay

Mytilus edulis

Blue Mussel

B

Minnis Bay

Cardium edule

Common edible cockle

B

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