Warning of Algal Toxin Events to support aquaculture


The pristine waters of the Northern Periphery (NP) coastal zone provide an ideal environment for shellfish aquaculture, a low environmental impact industry which has expanded across Europe considerably over the past years, providing employment in remote coastal regions. Its development has however been hampered by episodic contamination of product with naturally occurring biotoxins derived from phytoplankton that are harmful to human health.  

Monitoring of the environment for potentially harmful phytoplankton and their biotoxins in shellfish is a requirement in EU member states.  Time delays in achieving results, however, cause unnecessary losses to industry, particularly in peripheral regions.   This project focuses on the provision of new methodologies that will provide a) rapid, on site analysis for the presence of toxins in shellfish and b) the application of simple procedures whereby harmful phytoplankton events can be predicted.

These techniques are highly suited to peripheral regions.  A sustainable service will be put in place providing these methods for industry, thereby facilitating the development of aquaculture throughout the region as forewarning of harmful events is an essential element to further the development of the shellfish aquaculture industry.

Aim & Objectives:

a) Provide the aquaculture industry with rapid, safe techniques for the analysis of shellfish for algal toxins.

b) Demonstrate how simple models describing the onset of harmful phytoplankton events can be applied through the NP region.

c) Provide easier and more effective monitoring of aquaculture waters for the presence of toxic algae in the water column.

  • Status
  • Completed
  • Project Launch
  • 01 January 2009
  • Project completed
  • 31 December 2011
aquaculture algae regional development

Project Website