The sanitary control of foods in Morocco is governed by Law No. 1-75-291 of 8 October 1997, as well as several sectoral texts concerning products of animal origin, especially fishery products. Concerning bivalve molluscs, a circular of the Ministry of Agriculture and Maritime Fishing n ° 1508/12 of August 15, 2012, sets the conditions for marketing and placing on the market of these fishery products, in accordance with required sanitary requirements.

Thus, and in accordance with the technical specifications defined in the circular, a classification of shellfish production areas of live bivalve molluscs (farms and natural deposits) according to their degree of safety, is pronounced by the Department of Maritime Fisheries, which calls upon the scientific and technical support of INRH for the permanent zones monitoring and the control of the bivalve molluscs quality in the marine environment.

This monitoring is conducted through a Network of Coastal Health Monitoring of INRH (RSSL), having for objectives to ensure the protection of the marine environment and the preservation of the health of the consumer regarding seafood products .

STRATEGY FOR COASTAL HEALTH MONITORING

The sites used for breeding as well as the natural shells banks are ranked in descending order of health in 4 categories A, B, C and D according to the estimate of the microbiological quality and evaluation of the chemical contamination (circular 15.08 .12 of August 2012).

After classification, the target areas are subject to regular health monitoring, intended to verify the sustainability of the characteristics that have took into account for their classification and to detect possible contamination episodes.

This monitoring covers the measurement of microbiological and chemical parameters (heavy metals, PCBs, PAHs, dioxins, marine biotoxins in bivalve molluscs, and harmful phytoplankton in seawater.

 

Live bivalve molluscs from a Class A production area may be placed on the market for direct human consumption.

Live bivalve molluscs from a Class B production area may only be placed on the market for human consumption after they have been treated in an approved purification center or after relaying in an authorized area.

Live bivalve molluscs from a Class C production area may be placed on the market for human consumption only after relaying for a period of at least two months in an authorized relaying area.

After purification or relaying, live bivalve molluscs from Class B or C production areas must meet all the health standards required by Circular 15.08.12. Areas subject to health monitoring by INRH.

1.   Tetouan Region – Chefchaouen

2.    Kenitra Region 

3.    El Jadida Region –Essaouira

4.    Agadir Region – Tiznit

5.    Region of Boujdor

6.    Region of Dakhla

Classification of shellfish production areas of the Moroccan coastal area.

January 2016