Biotoxin Fishery Events

Current Wild Shellfish Public Health Alerts

Public health warningHigh 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 S​hellfish Poisoning.

Biotoxin zones and boundary maps

Further information and maps about Biotoxin Zones and Boundaries.​

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 curr​ent 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
Email:   fishing.enquiries@nre.tas.gov.au
Public health alerts:  www.health.tas.gov.au/health-topics/environmental-health

B​iotoxin 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)

  Recreational Rock Lobster Fishery Biotoxin Events Policy   (105Kb)

Contact

Wild Fisheries Management Branch
Level 3, 134 Macquarie Street
GPO Box 44
Hobart TAS 7001
Phone: 03 6165 3000, 1300 368 550
Email: fishing.enquiries@nre.tas.gov.au

Hotline

Fishwatch Report illegal fishing

0427 655 557

What to report? arrow button

Contact us

Recreational Fishing

Level 3, 134 Macquarie St

Hobart TAS 7000

Phone: (03) 6165 3233, 1300 720 647

Email: fishing.enquiries@nre.tas.gov.au

Commercial Fisheries

Level 3, 134 Macquarie St

GPO Box 44

Phone: (03) 6165 3000, 1300 368 550

Email: commercial.fisheries@nre.tas.gov.au

Commercial Fisheries Licensing

Level 3, 134 Macquarie St

GPO Box 44

Phone: (03) 6165 3000, 1300 368 550

Email: fishing.licensing@nre.tas.gov.au