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Rock lobster biotoxin update

by DPIPWE Fishing News 4 Dec 2019 07:27 UTC
Biotoxin testing rock lobster © DPIPWE Fishing

Majority of East Coast Stock Rebuilding Zone to open as scheduled. Storm Bay/Bruny Zone returns high PST results - there may be a delay in opening.

As part of the Rock Lobster Biotoxin Monitoring program, rock lobster samples have been collected by IMAS and an independent contractor from the Central East, Maria Island, Lower East and Storm Bay/Bruny Biotoxin Zones.

The paralytic shellfish toxin (PST) levels in all the lobster samples were either low or negligible in all zones except Storm Bay / Bruny Zone.

Based on these results, DPIPWE has determined that the recreational and commercial fisheries between Eddystone Point and Tasman Island can open as scheduled on Saturday 7 December (recreational) and Tuesday 10 December (commercial).

PST levels in lobsters collected from the Storm Bay / Bruny Zone exceeded the maximum permitted level for safe human consumption. Some harmful algal bloom activity had been detected in mussel samples from this zone during the winter and early spring. Data from previous blooms indicates that it can take an extended period of time for toxin levels in lobsters to reduce to low levels once the harmful bloom has finished.

Re-testing of the Storm Bay/Bruny Zone

Another round of lobster sampling for this zone is scheduled for this week subject to the weather. The results from these samples will be used to determine the open / closed status of this zone.

If PST levels remain above the maximum permitted level or results are not available by Friday 6 December, the part of the fishery between Tasman Island and Tasman head, Bruny Island, including Port Arthur, Storm Bay, and the Channel will remain closed.

Further updates will be posted on the Biotoxin Events webpage.

Read about: Transiting through closed Biotoxin Zones in the Eastern Region.

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