THE public has been warned not to eat shellfish from Loch Ewe or the Dornoch Firth after high levels of algal toxins were discovered.
Steps have also been taken by commercial operators to postpone harvesting until the algae subsides.
Highland Council’s environmental health team has identified raised levels of naturally occurring algal toxins following routine monitoring at the locations.
A spokeswoman for the local authority said: “Eating shellfish such as cockles, mussels, oysters or razor fish from these areas may pose a health risk.”
She added: “Warning notices for the public and casual gatherers have been posted at various locations on the shore.
“Commercial shellfish harvesters in the area have been contacted by the council, with steps taken to postpone harvesting until algae levels subside.
“As a sensible precaution, people should avoid eating shellfish from this area until further notice.
“Monitoring work continues and, when levels subside, the warning notices will be removed.”