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Toxic shellfish warning extended along coastline to Opito Bay

Friday, 9 January 2015 1:00 p.m.

Following ongoing shellfish toxin monitoring, the Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) toxin warning has been extended up to Opito Bay on the Coromandel Peninsula.

The initial health warning was issued on 28th November 2014 advising against the collection of shellfish from Mount Maunganui and along the Bay of Plenty coast to Whakatane Heads in the Eastern Bay of Plenty. This was later extended north up to Tairua.

The health warning has now been further extended to include the entire coastline from Opito Bay to Whakatane Heads including Whitianga Hahei, Hot Water Beach, Tairua, Pauanui, Whangamata, Opoutere, Waihi Beach and estuaries, Tauranga Harbour, Mount Maunganui, Papamoa and Maketu.

Also included in the warning are Matakana and Motiti islands, and all other inshore islands along this coastline.
The health warning applies to all bi-valve shellfish including mussels, pipi, tuatua, cockles, oysters, scallops as well as catseyes and kina (sea urchin). Shellfish in the affected area should not be taken or consumed. Paua, crayfish and crabs can still be taken but as always, the gut should be removed before cooking.

Consumption of shellfish affected by the paralytic shellfish toxin can 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.
Anyone suffering illness after eating shellfish should seek medical attention.
Monitoring of toxin levels will continue along the coast and any changes will be communicated accordingly.
Up-to-date information on the toxic shellfish health warning can be found through these channels:

  • Phone: 0800 221 555 BoP or 0800 800 977 Waikato
  • Website: www.ttophs.govt.nz/health_warnings
  • Twitter: www.twitter.com/ttophs
  • Email alerts for subscribers: www.ttophs.govt.nz/alert
  • Signage at locations (i.e. shellfish health warning signs at affected beaches)
Toxic Shellfish map 31 dec 2014