Fife Council offers support to shellfish pickers on Kingdom’s beaches

A north east Fife councillor has welcomed support for shellfish pickers on the Kingdom’s beaches.
Councillor Tim Brett welcomed the support.Councillor Tim Brett welcomed the support.
Councillor Tim Brett welcomed the support.

Councillor Tim Brett, leader of the Liberal Democrat group in Fife, welcomed the work undertaken by the council’s Environmental Health staff to ensure that safe practices are undertaken by shellfish pickers.

Councillor Brett said: “I have received information from Lisa McCann, service manager, environmental health, food and workplace safety, about a multi-agency exercise that was undertaken in September.

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“The exercise was undertaken in conjunction with officers from the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) and Police Scotland. As part of the exercise staff spoke to dozens of Chinese shellfish gatherers as part of the three-day awareness and engagement operation.”

Councillor Brett added: “I understand that members of the public can harvest or pick shellfish for their own consumption but that commercial activity such as this should be from classified sites that are monitored by Food Standards Scotland (FSS).

“If monitoring of samples shows adverse results for bio toxins or e-coli, the local authority will inform known harvesters and, if required, close the classified site depending on the location. The local authority will also put up public notices. There are a number of active commercial harvesters who carry out harvesting throughout the year in Fife and the council issued 1800 registration documents between April 2019 and September 2020 which indicates the scale of activity being undertaken.

“I welcome that this activity is being undertaken as it helps to ensure that this is done safely.”