Biotoxin Fishery Events

​Wild Shellfish Harmful Algal Blooms Update - 24 June 2022​

Gardners Bay and Port Cygnet

Public health warning ​

Pub​lic Health Alert has been released stating that toxic algal blooms are currently present in the area in and around Gardners Bay and Port Cygnet in Southern Tasmania. High levels of algal toxins have been detected in shellfish from this region. 

Recreationally harvested shellfish should not be eaten from this area because the algal toxins are harmful to humans.​ 

Wild shellfish include: oysters, mussels, clams, pipis, cockles and wedge shells.  Abalone, scallop roe and the intestines and livers (tomalley) of rock lobster can also be affected when toxic algal blooms are present.​​

Seafood in shops and restaurants is safe to eat because the Tasmanian Shellfish Market Access Program monitors the safety of commercially grown shellfish.

For further details refer to the Tasmanian Department of Health website.


Wild Shellfish Harmful Algal Blooms Update - 10 June 2022 

Pipe Clay Lagoon 

Public health warning ​

Public Health Alert has been released stating that toxic algal blooms are currently present in Pipe Clay Lagoon (the lagoon located between Cremorne and Clifton Beach in South East Tasmania). Elevated levels of algal toxins have been detected in shellfish from this region.

Re​crea​tionally harvested shellfish should not be eaten from this area because the algal toxins are harmful to humans.​ 

Wild shellfish include: oysters, mussels, clams, pipis, cockles and wedge shells.  Abalone, scallop roe and the intestines and livers (tomalley) of rock lobster can also be affected when toxic algal blooms are present.​​

Seafood in shops and restaurants is safe to eat because the Tasmanian Shellfish Market Access Program monitors the safety of commercially grown shellfish.

For further details refer to the Tasmanian Department of Health website.


 
Standing Public Health Alert - Collecting and eating wild shellfish
To read the standing Public Health alert about collecting and eating wild shellfish around Tasmania, please refer to the Tasmanian Department of Health website.  Other alerts covering particular areas may be issued periodically.
 
See DHHS for information about Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning.

Biotoxin zones and boundary maps

Further information and maps about Biotoxin Zones and Boundaries.


Transiting closed areas

Read about Transiting Biotoxin Regions in the Eastern Region.

See also Transiting during a Closed Season.


How do toxic algal blooms affect fisheries?

Some species of naturally occurring algae that produce toxins have been present in eastern and southern Tasmanian waters over the past few years.

These algae can produce paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs) that accumulate in shellfish feeding on the algae.  Humans can ingest these toxins when eating shellfish such as oysters, mussels, scallops and clams.

Abalone, scallop roes and the intestines and livers of rock lobster can also be affected when toxic algal blooms are present.


Rock lobster

Rock lobster feed on shellfish and can become contaminated with PSTs.  Toxins build up in specific organs (rarely in the flesh) and can be dangerous to humans when eaten.  When biotoxin levels are above the prescribed minimum limit, the affected zones may be closed to fishing.

Scallops, abalone and other shellfish

As well as rock lobster, abalone, scallop roes and other wild shellfish including oysters, mussels, clams, pipis and wedge shells can also be affected when toxic algal blooms are present.  It is important that fishers read the Health Department standing and current alerts relating to the collecting and eating of wild shellfish.


How to stay informed

Web: This webpage - Biotoxin Fishery Events
Email alerts: Recreational Fishing News e-newsletter
Facebook page:  www.facebook.com/FisheriesTasmania
Email:   fishing.enquiries@nre.tas.gov.au
Public health alerts:  www.health.tas.gov.au/health-topics/environmental-health

B​iotoxin decision making protocols

DPIPWE Wild Fisheries has developed the Rock Lobster Biotoxin Plan and Decision Protocol in consultation with the Tasmanian Rock Lobster Fisherman's Association, the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture and other stakeholders. It is used to determine management responses in relation to a Paralytic Shellfish Toxin (PST) event. The policy for the Recreational Rock Lobster Fishery for Biotoxin Events is also below.

  Rock Lobster Biotoxin Monitoring Program and Decision Making Protocols 2020  (595Kb)


  Recreational Rock Lobster Fishery Biotoxin Events Policy   (105Kb)

Recreational licence refunds

Please note that recreational licence refunds will not be granted if you are unable to fish in some waters due to biotoxin closures.  Licences grant access to all Tasmanian waters and biotoxin closures apply only to specific zones within those waters.  Licence holders can still fish outside any closed areas.




Contact

Wild Fisheries Management Branch
Level 3, 134 Macquarie Street
GPO Box 44
Hobart TAS 7001
Phone: 03 6165 3000
Email: commercial.fisheries@nre.tas.gov.au