Toxic Algal Bloom Update as at 28 March
There are public health warnings in place for the eating of wild shellfish and rock lobster in the Huon and Lower D’Entrecasteaux areas and on the East Coast. For up-to-date information about public health alerts relating to this event, refer to the Director of Public Health's current Public Health warnings or phone the Department of Health and Human Services hotline on 1800 671 738.
There are currently no recreational fishery closures due to the algal blooms, however other seasonal closures apply. For example the recreational scallop fishery in the D'Entrecasteaux Channel is presently closed due to the state of the stocks. There is a closure in place for the commercial fishery in the lower Channel area.
Huon and Lower D'Entrecasteaux Public Health Alert.
The toxic alga causing concern is the species Gymnodinium catenatum, a species that regularly blooms in the lower Huon River and Port Esperance in the autumn/early winter. The public health warning media statement released on 27 March 2013 indicates:
The extended health alert in the Huon-D’Entrecasteaux area is bounded in the north from Ninepin Point to Alonnah, down to Burnett Point (north of Southport) to Point Labillardiere (south of Partridge Island) and includes all bays and estuaries in between. (see map – note the red indicates the affected area and does not indicate closed areas for fisheries).
People should not eat wild harvested oysters, mussels, clams, pipis, abalone, or rock lobster viscera (guts and organs). If collecting scallops, discard all the gut and roe and wash the meat thoroughly before consuming.
East Coast Public Health Alert
The public health warning released on 27 March indicates:
- The east coast between Marion Bay and Waterhouse Island is still affected by the toxic alga Alexandrium tamarens with concerning levels detected in several areas recently.
- People should not eat wild harvested oysters, mussels, clams, pipis and the roe and gut of scallops from the east coast.
- In addition, the Director of Public Health recommends the safest practice is not to eat the gut or organs of rock lobster or crab from this or other areas. Rock lobster flesh is safe to eat.
- call the Recreational Sea Fishing Line on (03) 6233 7042 or 1300 720 647;
- visit: www.fishing.tas.gov.au