CEFAS was established in 1902, and is now an Executive Agency of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). CEFAS is an internationally recognised centre of excellence for research, assessment and advice on fisheries management, aquaculture and environmental protection. CEFAS provides contract research, consultancy, advice and training in fisheries science and management, marine environmental protection, aquaculture, and fish and shellfish disease and hygiene to a large number of public and private sector clients around the world. The organisation employs over 550 staff at three well-equipped laboratories and provides its services to a large number of UK and international public and private sector clients, including the Environment Agency, DEFRA and the European Commission. CEFAS is presently managing over 300 projects for these customers and have an annual turnover of 32.7 million GBP, of which 29.8 million GBP is UK Government funding and 2.9 million GBP is external funding. CEFAS Weymouth is the EU Community Reference Laboratory and the UK National Reference Laboratory for monitoring bacteriological and virological contamination of bivalve molluscs. As such, it is responsible for establishing standard methods for the statutory public health monitoring of bivalve shellfish.