Recreationally harvested wild shellfish
There is always a risk of illness after consuming wild shellfish harvested where water quality is poor. This is because water quality influences shellfish quality. For example, it is always unsafe to eat wild shellfish collected near:
You can get gastro if you eat wild shellfish like oysters, mussels, clams, pipis, cockles and wedge shells.
marinas or other places where boats discharge waste;
sewage, industrial or stormwater outfalls;
areas with septic tanks; and
places affected by recent heavy rain.
Algal blooms and biotoxins
Some species of naturally occurring algae that produce toxins have been detected in eastern and southern Tasmanian waters over the past few years.
These algae can produce toxins that accumulate in shellfish that feed on the algae. Humans can ingest these naturally occurring toxins by eating shellfish such as oysters, mussels, scallops and clams. See the
Department of Public Health's warning
on shellfish poisoning
Abalone, scallop roes and the intestines and livers of rock lobster can also be affected when toxic algal blooms are present. These may cause fishery closures - see
Biotoxin Fishery Alerts
'Do Not East Wild Shellfish' warning signs are displayed at popular boat ramps and jetties along Tasmania's north east, east and south east coastlines when algal blooms are present.
Derwent and Tamar Estuaries
Derwent Estuary Fish Limits for advice including not eating bream from the Derwent Estuary and limiting consumption of flathead and other fish. Heavy metal contamination affects the type and amount of seafood you should eat from this area.
- More information about the health of the Derwent River is available from the
Derwent Estuary Program website.
Unusual signs in wild fish
Phone the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738