Please select your home edition
Edition
Henri Lloyd 50 Years

Tasmania this week- Paralytic toxins make major impact on shellfish

by Carl Hyland on 3 Dec 2012
fish Carl Hyland
With the threat of paralytic shellfish toxin (PST) and the banning of taking of shellfish from Tasmania’s East Coast, it looks like crayfish might not be seen on many Christmas tables this year.

Commercial and recreational fishermen remain locked out of the areas from Eddystone Point in the North East to Marion Bay in the South East as the Department of Health continue to monitor shellfish which also includes not only crayfish, but abalone, periwinkles, sea urchins, and crabs.

What this means of course is that many anglers are now turning to areas not affected by the bans and in turn are putting tremendous pressure on unaffected areas. Areas such as the West Coast and North West Coast have seen a great influx of trailer boat fishermen to the area with both hookah and tank diving being a popular way of taking lobster. This means that fishermen are only in the water for a short period of time, getting their quota and moving on.

The health alerts remain in place as I write this and we will advise when they are lifted.

A public health alert against eating wild shellfish from the east coast of Tasmania has been extended, after test results showed that two other types of seafood are being impacted by a toxic species of algae.


People have been advised not to eat wild shellfish from the east coast - from Marion Bay through to Eddystone Point. Testing has now indicated that the paralytic shellfish toxins involved are also present above safe levels in the guts of both rock lobster and abalone, and the health alert now also applies to these species. Do not eat the gut of rock lobster or the gut of abalone taken from the east coast of Tasmania between Marion Bay and Eddystone Point, or recreationally-harvested oysters, clams or mussels.

The flesh of these species is safe to eat provided all gut residues are removed and thoroughly washed off. As a precaution, do not eat periwinkles, sea urchins or crabs from this section of the coast.
The Director of Public Health, Dr Roscoe Taylor, said that while the toxic algal readings are very low, a health alert is necessary. 'It is important to understand that it can take some time for toxins to purge, and purging rates vary between species, so we will be continually testing the toxicity of the affected seafood from these waters,' Dr Taylor said.


Commercial wild catch and aquaculture shellfish resources in the affected area continue to be monitored and closures apply where assessed necessary on the basis of risk.

Dr Taylor said that such closures ensure the Tasmanian produce we buy in shops or export remains safe to eat and maintains its reputation of high quality. In response to the public health risks identified in relation to abalone and rock lobster on the section of the east coast in question, the Minister for Primary Industries and Water is moving to also close the recreational abalone and rock lobster fisheries between Eddystone Point and Marion Bay.
Dr Taylor urged Tasmanian s not to eat the seafood listed from the affected area in the following list because the toxins from the algal bloom could cause Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning. 'Symptoms 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. 'Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning is rare but it is still important that Tasmanian s follows our advice so they do not get sick,' Dr Taylor said.


Do not eat the following wild harvested seafood from the affected area: Oysters, mussels, clams/pipis, the gut of rock lobster, the gut of abalone, scallop roe, sea-urchins, crabs, periwinkles. Seafood bought from retail outlets is safe to consume.

Cooking does not destroy the toxins.

Dr Taylor said that authorities will be watching this situation closely, so commercial farms and the wild catch fisheries can resume business as soon as possible. For some this may be next week, for others it could take considerably longer.

For more information, go to Public Health Alert website or call the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738.

On the 28th November, some harvesting of Commercial fisheries was allowed to resume in a limited capacity.
Shellfish harvesting has resumed in Great Oyster Bay, Little Swanport and St Helens (Georges Bay) on Tasmania's east coast, but remains subject to intensive monitoring. These areas produce oysters and clams. At this stage mussels from Spring Bay are not harvesting because of the continued presence of toxic cells in concerning levels in Spring Bay.

There are 13 shellfish harvest zones on the east coast that fall within the zone impacted by the toxic algae. There are about 20 growers and wild harvesters in these areas.

These zones are monitored weekly, sometimes more frequently, for toxic algal cells and toxins in the shellfish. This intensive monitoring process allows for harvest management by growing area.

Strict protocols are in place to prevent shellfish with unsafe paralytic shellfish toxins (PST) levels reaching the market. Algae cell counts on the east coast continue to fluctuate and daily management is required.

There was talk of extending the quarantine to include scalefish, but thank goodness this hasn’t been required at this stage!

Kiwi Yachting - Lewmar 660 - 1Bailey InsurancePantaenius - Worldwide Support

Related Articles

Lowrance HDS Carbon Series – Maximum power, maximum visibility
New Lowrance® HDS Carbon units feature ultra-clear SolarMAX™ HD multi-touch displays with high-bright LED backlighting New Lowrance® HDS Carbon units feature ultra-clear SolarMAX™ HD multi-touch displays with high-bright LED backlighting and advanced anti-reflective coatings to create wider viewing angles suitable for any lighting condition.
Posted on 20 Jan
New festival to celebrate everything marine
The first annual Lifestyle on Water Festival will be held at Pelican Park in Redcliffe on April 29th and 30th 2017 The first annual Lifestyle on Water Festival will be held at Pelican Park in Redcliffe on April 29th and 30th 2017 and incorporate the Austackle Moreton Bay Madness fishing competition.
Posted on 20 Jan
Anglers celebrate record Trout stocking in 2016
A record of more than 844,000 trout/salmon stocked into Victorian waterways during 2016 to improve recreational fishing A record of more than 844,000 trout and salmon were stocked into Victorian waterways during 2016 to improve recreational fishing opportunities for freshwater anglers and boost participation.
Posted on 19 Jan
Victoria’s game fishing heats up over summer
Game fishing in Victoria has lots to offer recreational anglers whether they be wetting a line in the east at Mallacoota Game fishing in Victoria has lots to offer recreational anglers this summer whether they be wetting a line in the east at Mallacoota, in the west at Portland or closer to Melbourne at the entrance to Port Phillip Bay.
Posted on 18 Jan
New Listing – 2008MY Grady White 305 Express
Here is a unique opportunity to join the Grady White sports fishing family. This fishing machine is on the market. Here is a unique opportunity to join the Grady White sports fishing family. This big volume offshore sports fishing machine is on the market.
Posted on 13 Jan
Marine Engine Emission Standards
The Boating Industry Association welcomes the recent announcement from the Department of the Environment The Boating Industry Association welcomes the recent announcement from the Department of the Environment confirming Minister Frydenberg’s decision to introduce marine engine emission standards under the National Clean Air Agreement.
Posted on 11 Jan
Tasmanians fortunate to have Fisheries Service
Tasmanians are very fortunate in that we have a Fisheries Service who are focused on delivering the goods Tasmanians are very fortunate in that we have a Fisheries Service who are focused on delivering the goods when it comes to freshwater fishing and are continually stocking Tasmania’s freshwater impoundments with all manner of fish which include, Brown and Rainbow trout, Brook trout, Atlantic salmon and Tiger trout.
Posted on 10 Jan
Fisherman rescued off Exmouth fell overboard trying to save camera
A fisherman who survived six hours in ocean off North West Cape near the West Australian town of Exmouth A fisherman who survived six hours in the ocean off North West Cape near the West Australian town of Exmouth fell into the water while trying to retrieve a camera, it has been revealed. Ross Chapman was fishing about 30 nautical miles offshore on Tuesday morning when he hooked a large marlin.
Posted on 7 Jan
Bayliss Boatworks chooses Twin Disc for Precise Maneuvering
Whether landing trophy game fish or nestled in quiet harbor there's no mistaking Bayliss Boatworks offshore sport fisher Whether landing trophy game fish or nestled in a quiet harbor, there's no mistaking a Bayliss Boatworks offshore sport fisher. The boat builder puts as much attention into the fine interior joinery as it does the fishing performance. That's why it chooses Twin Disc marine transmissions and controls. Because when the strike comes, there's no better combination for precise boat handling.
Posted on 5 Jan
Pipis tagged in Australian research first
In an Australian first, pipis are being tagged to better understand their short and long term movement patterns In an Australian first, pipis are being tagged to better understand their short and long term movement patterns in a project funded by recreational fishing licence fees.
Posted on 3 Jan