15 April 2021: The Marine Institute has collaborated with ten European partners as part of the research project, Alertox-Net - Atlantic Area Network for Innovative Toxicity Alert Systems for Safer Seafood Products. Alertox-Net has focused on developing a marine toxin warning network to facilitate the market delivery of safer marine food products in European waters.
Alertox-Net, funded by the Interreg Atlantic Area European Regional Development Fund, has assisted in maintaining and building on international excellence in the area of seafood safety and research. The project has provided a better prediction system of potential seafood toxicity risk while providing scientific advice to meet the needs of stakeholders. This future proofing detection and alert system is focused on emerging toxins so that the shellfish industry will be prepared and ready to detect potential emerging toxins.
Joe Silke, Director of Marine Environment and Food Safety Services at the Marine Institute said, "Alertox-Net is providing technical solutions for faster and easier detection methods for emerging toxins to the European shellfish industry, and these resources are currently being collated into one integrated expertise network. The Marine Institute is delighted to have had an active role in the Alertox-Net project and work alongside world leaders in the marine toxin research area to support Europe's shellfish industry."
Alertox-Net has helped to deliver scientific, technical services and provide advice to regulatory authorities, which will underpin future development in Europe's aquaculture sector. European aquaculture plays an important role in rural development, directly employing some 75,300 people and producing an estimated €4.9 billion in sales value (Economic Report of the EU Aquaculture Sector, 2018).
A recent project meeting included talks on the validation completed on a multi-method for regulating emerging toxins, and the creation of an open access database on toxin isolation and structure elucidation. The meeting also acknowledged the 20 papers which have been published as part of the Alertox-Net project.
The Alertox-Net international consortium includes the Marine Institute (Ireland), National University of Ireland Galway (Ireland), Queens University (Northern Ireland), the University of Santiago de Compostela (Spain), CEFAS (UK), the Atomic Energy Center (France), Ifremer (France), CIIMAR-Univ Puerto (Portugal), AZTI Foundation (Spain), Intecmar of the Xunta de Galicia (Spain), and the Regulatory Council of the Mexilón de Galicia (Spain). The three-year research project will conclude in September 2021.
For more information on the Alertox-Net research project visit https://www.alertox-net.eu/