Galway Bay fm newsroom:
The public is being warned against recreational gathering of shellfish along the West coast.
It’s due to the discovery of increased levels of naturally occurring compounds in shellfish that can cause illness in human consumers.
The Marine Institute has detected the increased levels of such compounds in recent weeks.
The occurrence of these compounds is common at this time of the year and are due to microscopic species, common in Irish coastal waters during summer.
Toxins they produce can accumulate in filter feeding shellfish and can cause illness, even if the shellfish is cooked.
These summer blooms occur naturally in response to longer day length and warmer temperatures.
The problem has resulted in the temporary closure of certain commercial shellfish production areas issued by the Institute, who jointly manage the monitoring programme with the Food Safety Authority of Ireland and the Sea Fishery Protection Authority.
As people are beginning to go back to the coast for recreation in coming weeks, the risk of public harvesting of shellfish such as mussels, clams, cockles or oysters for their own consumption will
This is, however, not advised and only shellfish obtained through approved retailers should be consumed