New blow for the oyster industry. A temporary ban on fishing, harvesting and marketing of all shellfish is in force on a western part of the bay of Mont-Saint-Michel due to cases of “collective food poisoning”, the Ille-et-Vilaine prefecture announced this Thursday. Traceability surveys carried out by State services indicate that oysters from this sector “are involved” in these poisonings, indicates the press release according to which, “at the same time, analyzes carried out on oysters farmed in this area confirm the presence of norovirus”.
THE symptoms associated with norovirus are those of acute gastroenteritis and no serious cases have been reported to date, according to the prefecture. “As of today, shellfish harvested or fished in this area must be withdrawn from sale (…) The banning measures will be lifted by prefectural decree as soon as the health quality of the shellfish has become fully satisfactory again,” concludes the communicated.
Several other regions already concerned
In recent weeks, the marketing of oysters and other shellfish has been temporarily suspended in several sectors of the coast in the Channel and the Atlantic, for health reasons similar to this last ban in Ille-et-Vilaine. Most of these suspensions took place before the end-of-year holidays, a period which constitutes one of the high points of sales for producers.
The Regional Shellfish Farming Committee (CRC) of Pays de la Loire filed three complaints against X this Thursday after the bans on the marketing of oysters in Vendée and Loire-Atlantique. Generally speaking, producers emphasize that the health quality of their oysters is not in question and that they are victims of undersized sanitation networks. “We are going to make points with the communities to accelerate investments where it is necessary”, assured on the eve of the New Year the former Secretary of State for the Sea, Hervé Berville.