Biotoxin Fishery Events

​​​​​Public Health Alerts

For standing and current public health alerts relating to the eating of wild shellfish see the Department of Public Health website.
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:
Public health alerts:

Biotoxin 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.


Wild Fisheries Management Branch
Level 3, 134 Macquarie Street
GPO Box 44
Hobart TAS 7001
Phone: 03 6165 3000