Public Health Alert about toxic shellfish on the East Coast of Tasmania – 5th September 2017

High levels of toxins are still present in shellfish on the East Coast of Tasmania.

Do not collect and eat wild shellfish from this region.

Eating wild shellfish from this region can cause serious illness.

Harmful Algal Blooms are still present in these waters. Shellfish feed on algae and concentrate the algal toxins in their flesh. Toxins in shellfish are not destroyed by cooking or freezing.

The Public Health Alert for the coast and estuaries from Coles Bay to the northern tip of Maria Island is still current.

Very high levels of paralytic shellfish toxin have been found in shellfish from Great Swanport and Great Oyster Bay to Little Swanport. Wild shellfish from this area have caused illness during previous Harmful Algal Blooms.

Low levels of toxins have also been detected in recent weeks in shellfish from as far south as Bruny Island, so wild shellfish from anywhere along the East Coast may pose a risk

  • Symptoms of shellfish poisoning can occur within minutes to hours after eating shellfish.
  • Shellfish poisoning symptoms include:
  • Tingling or numbness
  • Weakness
  • Blurred vision
  • Difficulty breathing
  •  Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Seek urgent medical attention if you experience these symptoms after eating wild shellfish.

Oysters, mussels, clams, pipis, wedge shells, abalone, scallop roe and the intestines and livers of rock lobster can be affected.

Shellfish for sale in shops and restaurants is safe to eat because the safety of commercially grown shellfish is closely monitored. A number of commercial shellfish leases have been closed to harvest because of the Harmful Algal Bloom.

For more information view: http://www.dhhs.tas.gov.au/publichealth/alerts or call the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738.