Sanitary surveys are an essential first step towards establishing a microbiological monitoring programme for the classification of bivalve production areas. All new bivalve production areas require a sanitary survey.
We evaluate the sources and types of microbiological contamination that might affect new and existing bivalve mollusc production areas.
The following information is reviewed and assessed in a sanitary survey:
- location and extent of the bivalve mollusc fishery
- type of shellfishery (species, method of harvest, seasonality of harvest)
- location, type and volume of sewage discharges
- location of river inputs and other potentially contaminated water courses (from OS maps/nautical charts)
- location of harbours and marinas (from OS maps/nautical charts)
- hydrographic and hydrometric data
- existing microbiological data from water quality or shellfish monitoring undertaken in the same area or adjacent areas.
Available information is supplemented by a practical shoreline survey.
The outcome of a sanitary survey is a sampling plan that details the point(s) at which samples must be taken for classification of a new site. A representative monitoring schedule along with appropriate production area/classification zone boundaries are also identified.
Sanitary survey reports for England, Wales and Scotland can be found below.