SHELLFISH HEALTH ALERT EXTENDED AGAIN
A public health alert against eating wild shellfish from southern waters now extends across the D'Entrecasteaux Channel to South Bruny Island.
Due to the continued spread of a toxic algal bloom, Tasmanians are advised not to eat wild shellfish from:
- the Huon Estuary
- the D'Entrecasteaux Channel from
- between Gordon and Simpsons Point to the north
- between South Port Bluff and Cape Bruny to the south.
The affected area includes Port Cygnet, Port Esperance, Southport, Hastings Bay as well as Great Taylors Bay and Little Taylors Bay on the west coast of South Bruny Island (see map over page).
Do not eat the following seafood from the affected area:
- scallops with roe
- the gut of crab and crayfish
- abalone from Port Esperance or the Huon Estuary, and the gut of abalone caught elsewhere in the affected area.
Shellfish from the above areas may contain toxins that cause Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning if eaten. Cooking does not destroy the toxins.
The Medical Director of Public and Environmental Health, Dr Kelly Shaw, said environmental conditions have caused the algal bloom to spread across the channel.
"Harvesting and eating wild shellfish from Tasmanian waters is never recommended because the quality of the water and shellfish is not always routinely monitored," she said.
"In this case, the risk is so high we strongly advise Tasmanians not to harvest their own shellfish from the affected coastlines and waters.
"Commercial shellfish farms in the affected area are closed, so you can be assured as always that it is safe to buy and eat shellfish from retailers."
Symptoms of Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning include tingling in the mouth and extremities, pins and needles, unsteadiness on the feet, weakness of the arms or legs and nausea.
Anyone experiencing these symptoms after eating wild seafood from or near the affected area should seek immediate medical attention.
For more information, go to www.publichealthalerts.tas.gov.au or call the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738. For a map please head to the media website www.premier.tas.gov.au
Dr Kelly Shaw
Medical Director, Public and Environmental Health, DHHS
Friday 01st June 2012