Harvesting of shellfish

Shellfish placed on the market for human consumption must come from a classified production area. This helps to control the risk of illness.

Some species of live bivalve molluscs such as oysters, mussels, cockles and razor fish are filter feeders. This means they can pick up sewage contamination and toxins from the water around them. Contaminated products can cause illness if consumed.

Shellfish beds are classified depending on the species found there and the results of water monitoring. You can only place shellfish from Class A waters straight on the market. Food Standards Scotland takes regular samples to check safety. 

Classified areas

There are several waters classified for shellfish harvesting within Dumfries and Galloway:

List of areas classified for shellfish harvesting

Production area


Site Name


Loch Ryan

2017 = B April to December

2018 = B January to March

Native Oysters

(Private bed)

Leffnoll Point

Area bounded by lines drawn between NX 0417 6796 and NX 0727 6711, NX 0828 6200, NX 0502 6200 extending inshore to MHW'S

Fleet Bay Razors

2017= A April to December

2018= A January to March



Area bounded by lines drawn between points NX54905118, NX55205144, NX57515010, NX58094900, NX57714839 extending to MHWS

Wigtown Bay - Islands of Fleet

2017= A April to December

2018= A January to March



Area inshore of line drawn between NX 54805099, NX 49804745, NX47535129, NX50135323.

Contact us if you wish to apply for a new area to be classified.

Shellfish traceability

You have to send a registration document with each batch of shellfish going to a dispatch or purification centre. This means we can always trace back to the source of products.

Request registration documents if you want to gather shellfish from a classified area:

There is no need to harvest Scallops and Gastropods (like Periwinkles or Whelks) from classified areas but registration documents are still required.

Shellfish should be labelled with an identification mark to show their unique approval number before they are sold for human consumption.

Page last updated: 11/05/2023
email icon print icon