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Shellfish Health & Hygiene

Testing the ‘hygiene’ of commercially valuable shellfish stocks is important for public health and the aquaculture economy. Rigorous and routine checking protects consumers’ health and safeguards the standards of the shellfish industry in a competitive market.

Loughs Agency collects samples for the Food Standards Agency Northern Ireland (FSANI), Food Standards Agency Ireland (FSAI) and Sea Fisheries Protection Agency (SFPA). The specimens are taken from agreed production areas in Carlingford Lough and Lough Foyle.

Testing is carried out for two types of contamination: biotoxin, and E.coli or microbiological, contamination. Water samples are also examined for the presence of biotoxin-producing plankton.

To view the latest status updates, click the images below:


Production Area Lough Foyle
Lough Foyle



Production Area Carlingford Lough
Carlingford Lough


Following the Government’s advice in relation to COVID-19, Loughs Agency has put in place a number of measures to maximise our capacity to continue to deliver our services as best we can.