Text alerts for shellfish harvesters
Text alert technology for shellfish harvesters is being tested. Credit Jessica King/Marine Photobank
A new text alert system to notify shellfish harvesters when sewage waste is discharged into the sea is being tested.
Usually water companies treat the sewage that is discharged into the sea in line with legislation. But sometimes extreme weather conditions can override these operations and result in a diluted form of waste ending up in the sea.
Seafish is hoping that this new system will give warning to shellfish harvesters that this has happened, allowing them to manage their operations, giving them the opportunity to postpone or cancel harvesting, or move operations to another area.
The organisation has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with both South West Water and Aquaprova, as well as Anglian Water which will see trials of the project.
The system will work by the water companies sharing real time information on any spill events with shellfish harvesters via text message alerts.
There is now a framework in place for the South West England and the East Anglian coastal region.
Testing is underway at the moment with a view to having a live trial operational within the next few weeks. Seafish has begun engaging with water companies on a regional basis throughout the UK, with a view to rolling out this initiative nationwide.
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