SARF066: Practical trials and cost benefit analysis for industry of reduced depuration for the mussel Mytilus edulis

Start Date: 01/04/2010
End Date: 30/09/2010
Main Contractor(s): Aquafish Solutions Limited

Other Sponsor(s):  


The key objectives for the current proposal are:

To compare depuration protocols, techniques and equipment employed between the main EU Member States

To investigate the impacts on public health across Member States caused by differing depuration protocols

Based on successful completion of the above:

To demonstrate the economic benefits of a reduced depuration period for industry  


Background research;           

(a) A literature review of previous depuration/purification trials and published research and information on depuration of the blue mussel Mytilus edulis.  Particular emphasis will be placed on identifying similarities and differences between depuration protocols and techniques/equipment between the main EU Member States.  This will therefore help to ascertain if shorter depuration times in some Member States are based on a differing assessment of risk to public health or whether the types of protocols, techniques/equipment employed allow these shorter time periods.

(b) Review and investigation of the impacts on human health based on available information across EU Member States caused by the consumption of mussels with particular emphasis on countries where depuration times are shorter than the current 42 hour period practised in the UK.

Cost-benefit analysis; To investigate the possible human health implications of a reduction in mussel depuration time versus the economic benefit that this would give to industry in terms of reduced operational costs; increased throughout of product within a set period; reduced requirement for facilities and resources etc.  This second objective will be undertaken if the results of Objective No. 1 indicate that there is scope for reduced depuration periods in the UK.  The decision on whether or not to undertake this second objective will be based on a review of the results of Objective No. 1 by SARF