Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

Shellfish Water Directive

Shellfish Water Directive

The Shellfish Waters Directive – 2006/113/EC

Shellfish Water Directive
Statutory Instruments


The aim of the Shellfish Waters Directive is to protect or improve shellfish waters in order to support shellfish life and growth. It is designed to protect the aquatic habitat of bivalve and gastropod molluscs, which include oysters, mussels, cockles, scallops and clams. The Directive requires Member States to designate waters that need protection in order to support shellfish life and growth.
The Directive sets physical, chemical and microbiological requirements that designated shellfish waters must either comply with or endeavour to improve

The Directive also provides for the establishment of pollution reduction programmes for the designated waters.

Responsibility for the Shellfish Waters Directive in Ireland transferred from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food to the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government on 5 November 2008.


The Directive is implemented in Ireland by the European Communities (Quality of Shellfish Waters) Regulations 2006 (SI No 268 of 2006). Pollution reduction programmes (PRP’s) were established for 14 sites already designated under the these Regulations

In August 2008, DAFF invited submissions from interested parties on the proposal to designate an additional 49 water bodies for protection or improvement under the above Directive.
On foot of this consultation process, the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, on 10th February 2009, signed the European Communities (Quality of Shellfish Waters) (Amendment) Regulation 2009, SI 55 of 2009.  This SI amends the 2006 Statutory Instrument by providing for designation of an additional number of important shellfish growing areas. The 49 additional areas, which have been designated, were identified as appropriate for selection because:

  • They are aquaculture sites or wild shellfish harvesting sites that have been active in the preceding 3 years and
  • The waters are in need of protection or improvement.

The boundaries of the 49 additional areas have been drawn to ensure that they encompass all of the active licensed aquaculture being carried on within them.

The additional designated areas together with their boundaries are shown on the maps that have been drawn up for each of the areas.

Marine Environment Unit
Department of Environment, Community and Local Government
Newtown Rd

Shellfish Water Directive 

Shellfish Water Directive (external link)


Statutory Instruments 

SI No 464 of 2009 European Communities (Quality of Shellfish Waters (Amendment)(No 2) Regulations 2009 (pdf, 489kb)

SI No 55 of 2009 European Communities (Quality of Shelfish Waters) (Amendment) Regulations 2009 (pdf, 111kb)

SI No 268 of 2006 European Communities (Quality of Shelfish Waters) Regulations 2006 (pdf, 61kb)


Sub topic