Current Wild Shellfish Public Health Alerts
High levels of algal toxins have been detected in shellfish from these regions. For more details, read the current wild shellfish public health alerts which link to the Tasmanian Department of Health website.
Standing Public Health Alert - Eating wild shellfish
To read the standing Public Health alert about collecting and eating wild shellfish around Tasmania, please refer to the Tasmanian Department of Health website. Other alerts covering particular areas may be issued periodically.
Wild shellfish include: oysters, mussels, clams, pipis, cockles and wedge shells. Abalone, scallop roe and the intestines and livers (tomalley) of rock lobster can also be affected when toxic algal blooms are present.
Seafood in shops and restaurants is safe to eat because the Tasmanian Shellfish Market Access Program monitors the safety of commercially grown shellfish.
See Department of Health information about
Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning.
Biotoxin zones and boundary maps
Do toxic algal blooms affect fisheries?
Some species of naturally occurring algae that produce toxins have been present in eastern and southern Tasmanian waters over the past few years.
These algae can produce
paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs) that accumulate in shellfish feeding on the algae. Humans can ingest these toxins when eating shellfish such as oysters, mussels, scallops and clams.
Rock lobster fishery
Rock lobster feed on shellfish and can become contaminated with PSTs. Toxins build up in specific organs (rarely in the flesh) and can be dangerous to humans when eaten. When biotoxin levels are above the prescribed minimum limit, Public Health Alerts may advise against taking and eating fishng or the affected zones may be closed to fishing.
Scallops, abalone and other shellfish
As well as rock lobster, abalone, scallop roes and other wild shellfish including oysters, mussels, clams, pipis and wedge shells can also be affected when toxic algal blooms are present. It is important that fishers read the Health Department
standing and current alerts relating to the collecting and eating of wild shellfish.
How to stay informed
Web: This webpage -
Biotoxin Fishery Events
Email alerts: Recreational Fishing News e-newsletter
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/FisheriesTasmania
Public health alerts:
Biotoxin decision making protocols
Wild Fisheries has developed the
Rock Lobster Biotoxin Plan and Decision Protocol
in consultation with the Tasmanian Rock Lobster Fisherman's Association, the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture and other stakeholders. It is used to determine management responses in relation to a Paralytic Shellfish Toxin (PST) event. The policy for the
Recreational Rock Lobster Fishery
for Biotoxin Events is also below.
Rock Lobster Biotoxin Monitoring Program and Decision Making Protocols 2020 (595Kb)