The harvesting of shellfish again is prohibited along many areas of Portugal’s coast due to the presence of toxins that may cause diarrhea.
The temporary ban is listed on the website of the Portuguese Institute of Ocean and Atmosphere (IPMA) – see link below.
The ban includes the Algarve’s main shellfish area in the Ria Formosa (Faro, Olhão) plus a ban in Lagoa de Albufeira on the west coast, covering most species of bivalve except some clam types.
The bans are justified "due to the presence of phytoplankton, a producer of marine toxins, or toxin levels or microbiological contamination above regulatory values."
In most samples toxins which cause diarrhea poisoning were detected. Along the coast between Setúbal and Sines some clams were tested positive for toxins that cause amnesic poisoning.
The presence of toxins is particularly badly timed for the Good Friday tradition in areas along the west coast of recreational mussel harvesting. Normally the police are on alert to stop over harvesting but now they will be stopping people collecting any of the banned types.