Shellfish Health Alert Extended Fri 11 May 2012 Dr Roscoe Taylor Director of Public Health A public health alert against eating wild shellfish has beenextended, after test results showed new areas are being impacted by a toxicalgal bloom.Tasmanians are advised not to eat wild shellfish from the HuonEstuary, including Port Cygnet, extending down the west coast of theD'Entrecasteux Channel, through Port Esperance to Southport and HastingsBay.As a precaution, the health alert now also applies to wildabalone.Do not eat wild abalone from Port Esperance. For abalone fromother areas, remove the gut before eating themeat.The Director of Public Health, Dr Roscoe Taylor, said while thealgal bloom is likely to dissipate due to the recent changes in environmentalconditions, the health alert will remain in place until furthernotice."It can take some time for toxins to purge, so we will becontinually testing the toxicity of shellfish from these southern waters," DrTaylor said."Because of the toxins from the algal bloom, eating wildshellfish from the affected area may result in Paralytic ShellfishPoisoning."Symptoms include tingling in the mouth and extremities, pinsand needles, unsteadiness on the feet, weakness of the arms or legs and nausea.Anyone experiencing these symptoms after eating wild seafood from or near theaffected area should seek immediate medicalattention."Do not eat the following seafood from the affectedarea: oystersmusselsclams/pipisabalone from Port Esperance, and the gut of abalone caughtelsewhere in the affected areascallops with roeperiwinklesthe gut of crab and crayfish.Cooking does not destroy thetoxins.Commercial shellfish farms in the affected area remain closed,and commercial wild catch abalone in Port Esperance has also been temporarilyclosed."Such closures ensure the Tasmanian produce we buy in shops orexport remains safe to eat and maintains its reputation of high quality," DrTaylor said."We will be watching this situation closely, so commercial farmscan resume business as soon as possible. This may be next week, or it could takemonths."For more information, go to www.publichealthalerts.tas.gov.auor call the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671738.