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People Reminded Shellfish Ban Still In Place

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
People Reminded Shellfish Ban Still In Place

Wellington, Nov 2 NZPA - People are being reminded that collecting and eating shellfish along the Coromandel and Bay of Plenty coastline is still dangerous.

The health warning, first issued in December, advising against collecting and eating shellfish in the area remained in place, Waikato District Health Board's medical officer of health Neil de Wet said today.

"The most recent weekly monitoring results have continued to show high levels of paralytic shellfish poison (PSP) present in shellfish along this coastline," Dr de Wet said.

The affected area was unchanged and included the entire coastline from Tairua (including Tairua Harbour) south, including Opoutere, Onemana, Whangamata, and Whiritoa, east along the Bay of Plenty coastline from Waihi Beach, including Tauranga Harbour to the mouth of the Whakatane River in the Eastern Bay of Plenty.

The coastline eastward from Ohope beach remained unaffected, Dr de Wet said.

The health warning applied to all bi-valve shellfish including mussels, pipi, tuatua, cockles, oysters, scallops as well as catseyes and kina (sea urchin).

Dr de Wet said paua, crayfish and crabs could still be taken but the gut should be removed before cooking.

He warned that eating shellfish affected by the paralytic shellfish toxin could cause numbness and tingling around the mouth, face or extremities; difficulty swallowing or breathing; dizziness; double vision; and in severe cases, paralysis and respiratory failure.

"These symptoms usually occur within 12 hours of a person consuming affected shellfish."

Monitoring of shellfish toxin levels would continue along the coast, Dr de Wet said.

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