Media Release - 3/12/09
Diarrhetic Shellfish Poisoning (DSP)-toxins above the health safety limit have been detected in bi-valve or filter feeding shellfish.
Dr Ramon Pink, Medical Officer of Health, advises that the area of Pegasus Bay is closed for shell fishing. The area from Pigeon Bay coastline to Leithfield Beach is now closed for the collection of shell fish.
Community and Public Health, a division of Canterbury District Health Board, will carry out further monitoring of the coastal area and provide updates on the situation as necessary.
The collection and eating of all shellfish, including scallops, tuatua, cockles, oysters, mussels, pipis, cats-eyes, pupu, kina and sea urchin is not recommended.
Crayfish, crabs, paua, and finfish can be eaten provided the gut is removed.
Cooking does not remove the toxins from affected shellfish and therefore does NOT make them safe to eat.
The symptoms of Diarrhetic Shellfish Poisoning (DSP) are rapid onset of abdominal pain, diarrhoea, nausea, and vomiting, usually within 24 hours of consuming shellfish.
Anyone who suffers symptoms of illness after eating shellfish should seek medical advice from their local doctor.
For further information please contact the Health Protection Officer at Community and Public Health on (03) 3641777 or after hours on (03) 337 7899.