A CLOSURE notice preventing the harvesting of filter feeding molluscs in Portland Harbour has been lifted.

The notice, which did not include the Fleet oyster beds, was issued last month after traces of the potentially deadly Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning (ASP) was detected following routine testing of scallops.

Authorities in Dorset have been working with the Food Standards Agency, the Marine Management Organisation and the Southern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority to monitor ASP levels.

The Weymouth Port Health Authority has now confirmed that sampling results showed molluscs in the harbour no longer exceeded the maximum permitted level and the harvesting of scallops, oysters and mussels could be reinstated.

Chairman of Weymouth Port Health Committee Cllr Paul Kimber said: “I’m absolutely delighted that we can get going again and the industry can get going.

“I would like to thank the fisherman and local people for their patience whilst we were getting this done.”