Do not eat wild shellfish

Do not eat wild shellfish

It is recommended people not eat recreationally harvested wild bivalve shellfish including:

  • Oysters (Pacific and Native)
  • Mussels
  • Scallops
  • Clams
  • Pipis
  • Cockles
  • Wedge Shells

Eating wild bivalve shellfish is risky in unmonitored areas because water quality influences the quality of these bivalve shellfish. Many factors can cause poor water quality, including heavy rainfall or naturally occurring algal blooms.

It is safe to eat bivalve shellfish from approved retail outlets at any time in Tasmania because the Tasmanian Shellfish Quality Assurance Program closely monitors the quality of commercially grown bivalve shellfish.

While some people may choose to recreationally harvest wild bivalve shellfish despite this recommendation, the following warning should be noted:

Do not eat wild bivalve shellfish from the following areas or periods

  • the Derwent or Tamar estuaries – oysters and mussels from these estuaries contain high levels of heavy metals – well above safe levels
  • marinas or other areas potentially subject to boat discharges
  • adjacent to sewage, industrial or stormwater outfalls
  • areas where septic tanks may be failing
  • following heavy rainfall events
  • areas affected by toxic algal blooms.

Paralytic shellfish poisoning

On occasions the Director of Public Health will issue specific advisories warning against recreational harvesting of bivalve shellfish in certain areas.

Refer to Public Health Alerts and Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment for up-to-date information on toxic algal blooms and fishery closures.

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September 2016