The Food Standards Agency Scotland announced yesterday that bans on fishing for scallops in waters off the Scottish coast are to be lifted, leaving just one area now closed to west coast fishermen.

The action is based on test results from the sampling programme which showed Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning (ASP) toxin levels have dropped to a level at which there is no longer a risk to consumers.

Scallop fishing bans were imposed on waters of the South Minch off the West Coast on 17 August 2000. Part of this ban has been lifted today.

Re-sampling continues to be carried out in the other areas closed to scallop fishing (one off the west coast and one in Orkney). As soon as levels of ASP falls to safe levels the areas will be reopened.


  1. Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning (ASP) is caused by naturally occurring algal blooms which can extend over considerable areas.
  2. The Food Protection (Emergency Prohibitions) (Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning) (West Coast) (No. 2) (Scotland) Order 2000 was imposed on 17 August 2000.
  3. Re-sampling of closed areas is carried out and two separate samples showing safe levels are required, with at least a week between each, before an area can be reopened.