Microbiology and algal toxins
Microbiological contamination from wastewater discharges and agricultural pollution is measured in bathing waters and shellfish in order to assess impacts on human health. Shellfish are also monitored for levels of algal toxins from harmful algal blooms that have the potential to impact on human health when consumed.
Marine bathing waters can become contaminated with microbiological pathogens from sources such as wastewater discharges and agricultural diffuse pollution. Bathing waters were assessed using measurements of microbial contamination during the bathing water season at a number of Scottish bathing waters.
Shellfish can accumulate microbiological pathogens via filter feeding from sources such as wastewater discharges and agricultural diffuse pollution. Microbial contamination in shellfish was assessed using data from the monitoring of E.coli in harvested shellfish.
Bivalve molluscs can accumulate biotoxins during algal bloom events. The contamination of bivalve molluscs with algal toxins was assessed using data on toxin levels in harvested bivalves and the occurrence of toxin producing phytoplankton in shellfish production areas.