POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS shellfish have been seized in a crackdown on illegal capture.
A multi-agency operation has been launched to crack down on shellfish being illegally harvested in Chichester Harbour.
As part of Operation Pearl, potentially dangerous shellfish were seized by authorities on Tuesday, August 17.
Months of undercover investigations have taken place to understand how the illegally harvested shellfish reached food businesses and consumers, Chichester Borough Council said
This has led to a number of authorities including the Council, Sussex Police, the Food Standards Agency, the National Food Crime Unit, the Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority and the Gangmaster Labor Abuse Authority working to identify suspected harvest workers and to fight all companies that take the products.
Shellfish not harvested from monitored areas may be unsafe for human consumption. They can carry E. coli, norovirus, or be contaminated with high levels of toxic chemicals.
Penny Plant, Cabinet Member at Chichester District Council for the Environment, said it was a growing problem in coastal areas.
“This is a very complex issue that we have been working on for some time,” she said.
“We tried different methods to discourage harvest workers from collecting shellfish at the port and this work led to a multi-agency approach.
“The fact that we are working with so many different partners on this operation and have gathered so much evidence sends a strong message to harvesters and the food companies who buy from them that we will not tolerate this behavior.
“We will review the further evidence we gathered from the operation, which may lead to a criminal case against the perpetrators. We would also like to thank the public who have supported us with regular information on these matters.
“Commercial shellfish collection is highly regulated and shellfish sold on the black market could have serious public health consequences and damage the reputation of the industry.”
https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/20670589.potentially-hazardous-shellfish-seized-chichester-harbour/?ref=rss ‘Potentially Dangerous’ shellfish seized at Chichester Port