A team of researchers from the University of the Algarve (UAlg) and the Center for Marine Sciences (CCMAR) has developed methodologies that make it possible to reduce the contamination of bivalves by toxins and improve the performance of those who are, cyclically, prohibited from catching and capturing these animals. , due to the occurrence of toxic algae.
The results of the research project “Depuratox – Decontamination of bivalve molluscs, contaminated with marine biotoxins, during the purification process”, which according to the UAlg have “great impact on the activity of shellfish gatherers and fishermen on the Algarve coast”, were presented in a workshop, on the 28th of February, in the multipurpose room of the Municipal Library of Olhão.
Coordinated by Maria de Lurdes Cristiano, professor and researcher at UAlg, the project, supported by Mar2020, «had as its main objective the development and optimization of chemical products for the decontamination of live bivalves, namely mussels, contaminated with paralyzing marine biotoxins (PSP ) and diarrheal (DSP). In addition to mussels, the project's target species are also cockles and clams», according to UAlg.
The results achieved, in addition to increasing the income of shellfish gatherers and nursery farmers, «will contribute to improving food security, not only at European level, but also as a potential for transferring knowledge to other regions of the world, where the sustainability of food production depends on many of these marine organisms and, in many of these areas, without any type of control in terms of toxins.
The project is developed “in collaboration with the Cooperativa de Viveiristas da Ria Formosa. The main beneficiaries of the knowledge developed under the project will be purification centers and bivalve mollusc catchers».
The project presentation workshop was attended by Alexandra Teodósio, vice-rector of the UAlg, João Evaristo, councilor of the Câmara de Olhão, Pedro Valadas Monteiro, regional director of Agriculture and Fisheries of the Algarve, Maria João Botelho, head of the Oceanography and Marine Environment from IPMA, Marta Rocha, from Cooperativa Formosa, and Gabriel Bombo, from GreenCoLab.