Cefas proof helps profitable prosecution within the Atmosphere Company versus Southern Water wastewater allow breaches case

Southern Water have just lately been fined a file £90m for intentionally pouring sewage into sea. The Atmosphere Company additionally highlighted their response to the case which noticed 6,971 unpermitted sewage discharges going down in Kent, Hampshire and Sussex between 2010 and 2015. Cefas’ involvement on this profitable prosecution is a tangible instance of how our water high quality analysis makes an actual distinction to supporting manufacturing of secure seafood.

Cefas was known as upon to offer scientific assist for the Atmosphere Company’s prosecution case relating to Southern Water inflicting main environmental hurt to shellfish waters. These air pollution occasions negatively impacted companies and group teams, with discharges into designated shellfish waters inflicting a long-term deterioration within the shellfish flesh high quality, leaving some areas unsuitable for harvesting shellfish for human consumption and leading to misplaced enterprise for shellfish producers.

Cockles on Shellness Beach, Kent

What recommendation has Cefas offered in assist of this case?

Cefas supported the Atmosphere Company in offering scientific evaluation and skilled witness illustration.  In 2017, underneath contract to the Atmosphere Company (EA), Cefas produced a report on ‘Overflows and Environmental Affect‘ to tell the EA’s Operation Backyard investigation, the biggest felony investigation within the EA’s 25-year historical past. This report centered on the impression and potential impression of unpermitted sewage discharges affecting commercially vital bivalve mollusc (e.g. oyster and mussels) shellfish beds and the shellfish protected areas of The Swale, North Kent.

The Cefas report concluded that in relation to human well being threat, the frequency and length of sewage spills in The Swale throughout the interval 2010–2015 had been prone to current the potential for an elevated threat to human well being from consumption of contaminated shellfish. Work undertaken predicted that ranges of norovirus in shellfish for the interval of the un-permitted discharges exceeded the common ranges obtained in shellfish samples from elsewhere, which were linked to circumstances of norovirus sickness.

public health notice to say Do Not Eat the Shellfish

Additional to this Simon Kershaw, Principal Scientist and water high quality advisor in our Meals Security Group, gave proof as an skilled witness on behalf of the Atmosphere Company at Canterbury Mixed Courtroom. Simon’s skilled opinion concluded that unpermitted overflows of untreated or partially handled sewage symbolize an elevated threat to public well being.

Simon shared his ideas, “It was good to see Cefas’ scientific experience and all of the water high quality work the Meals Security groups have been concerned with to guard shellfish waters, being put to efficient use. Recognising the environmental and financial harm that sewer overflow spills trigger is important to make sure that water firms are held to account and going ahead that the setting is best protected.”

Extra proof offered by Cefas included a report, Sanitary Survey Report – Swale and Thames shellfish harvesting areas dated 2013.  Sanitary surveys present an in depth qualitative evaluation of air pollution sources probably impacting on business bivalve mollusc shellfish beds in an space and make suggestions for an applicable sampling plan for ongoing shellfish hygiene monitoring. Between 2007 and 2015 Cefas produced related reviews for all shellfish harvesting areas in England and Wales on behalf of the Meals Requirements Company, contains of Kent and the Solent.



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