At the 11th Shellfish Safety Workshop held in the Radisson Blu Hotel Athlone, Joe Silke, Director of Marine Environment and Food Safety Services at the Marine Institute said, "Ireland's Shellfish Safety Monitoring Programme ensures that shellfish placed on the market meet the highest standards of food safety. This workshop enables scientists and regulators to exchange information and discuss the latest research, advances in technology, and forecast any issues for the industry, to help ensure Ireland continues to offer high-quality products."
More than 90 shellfish producers and processors, scientists, researchers, agencies and stakeholder representatives recently attended the Shellfish Safety Workshop to discuss the latest advances in shellfish safety in Ireland.
The workshop was held on 8th October, was hosted by the Marine Institute and co-sponsors Food Safety Authority of Ireland, Sea Fisheries Protection Authority and Bord Iascaigh Mhara.
The event offered an opportunity to exchange information on the latest research and information on the cause and control of shellfish products harvested and farmed around Ireland's coast.
Speakers included Dr Conor Graham, GMIT Marine and Freshwater Research Centre on the development of the world's first scientific-based shellfish traceability tool. This unique tool used trace elemental fingerprinting of shellfish soft tissues and shells to identify the harvest location of blue mussels and scallops with 100% success, including mussels reared from two sites located just 6km apart within the one bay.
Other speakers included Dr Monika Dhanji Rapkova, Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science on the learnings on regulated and emerging biotoxins in British shellfish. Dr Eileen Bresnan, Marine Scotland Science presented a talk on the regional distribution of harmful algal events in North Atlantic Area. Dave Clarke, Marine Institute also talked about the insights and perspectives on monitoring algal and biotoxin events in Irish coastal waters from the past 20 years.
Micheál O'Mahony of the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority presented on the recently published European baseline survey of norovirus in oysters, while Dr Sinéad Keaveney, Marine Institute discussed the survey in the Irish context.
There were also a series of flash presentations from representatives of the Marine Institute, Bord Iascaigh Mhara, Sea Fisheries Protection Authority, Food Safety Authority of Ireland, Dublin City University, Sligo Institute of Technology and Health Services Executive.
The proceedings of the workshop are currently being compiled for publication in the coming weeks and will be available for download from the Marine Institute's Open Access Repository.
The Marine Institute is the state agency responsible for marine research, technology development and innovation in Ireland. The Marine Institute provides government, public agencies and the maritime industry with a range of scientific, advisory and economic development services that inform policy-making, regulation and the sustainable management and growth of Ireland's marine resources.