A ban on fishing for scallops in waters off South Minch, due to a build-up of naturally occurring Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning (ASP) toxins, was announced today by the Food Standards Agency Scotland.

The action is based on test results from the Agency’s sampling programme which showed that the ASP toxin has reached a level at which there is a risk to consumers. Symptoms of ASP include nausea, vomiting, short-term memory loss and hallucinations.

Scallops is the only species affected by this ban. No other commercially marketed shellfish are affected by today’s action.


  1. Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning (ASP) is caused by naturally occurring algal blooms which can extend over considerable areas.
  2. Under the Order signed today, the Food Protection (Emergency Prohibitions) (Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning) (West Coast 5) (Scotland) Order 2000, the taking of scallops from the specified area is prohibited from today.

For further information, media should contact Louise Bisset , Media & Communications Office, on 01224 285127.