Update - 12 November, 2020
The Ministry for Primary Industries removed the public health warning today against collecting shellfish from the North Island West Coast. This warning was for the Northland West Coast from Waipapakauri on 90 Mile Beach south to Poutu Point on the Northern Head of the Kaipara Harbour. Further sampling of shellfish along this coastline has showed that PSP toxins are now at safe levels.
PUBLIC HEALTH WARNING – MARINE BIOTOXIN ALERT – NORTHLAND WEST COAST
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is about to issue a public health warning advising the public not to collect or consume shellfish on the Northland west coast from Waipapakauri on 90 Mile Beach, south to Pouto Point on the northern head of the Kaipara Harbour. This includes the Herekino, Whangape and Hokianga Harbours. Paralytic shellfish toxins have been detected at levels above the safe limit set by MPI. Warning signs will be posted in the coming days.
Note that cooking or freezing the shellfish does not remove the toxin.
Routine tests on shellfish samples taken from these regions have shown levels of Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) toxins above the safe limit of 0.8 mg/kg set by MPI. Anyone eating shellfish from this area is potentially at risk of illness.
Symptoms typically appear between 10 minutes and 3 hours after ingestion and may include:
Members of the public with any queries about shellfish safety should call:
If there is any leftover shellfish after consumption, this can be sent for further analyses.
Another warning remains in place for the west coast of the North Island – from South Head (Manukau Harbour entrance) to Tirua Point (south of Kawhia). Paralytic shellfish toxins are still at levels above the safe limit set by MPI.
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