This paper contains details of the procedures adopted by the UK Government in implementing the EEC shellfish directive and a review of the water quality monitoring programmes used by the Welsh Water Authority with respect to these provisions. Six shellfish beds have been surveyed in detail by the Authority, but only one has been designated. This is the only shellfishery which meets the standards. Raising the remainder to the required standards would involve considerable capital expenditure, mainly for sewage treatment. The UK Government has precluded such expenditure. It has claimed that any public health measures inherent in the directive are covered adequately by current UK practice. This stance is questioned in the light of a recent viral study. This paper highlights the potential problems when there is conflict between international and national water quality priorities.

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