Lower Hawkesbury River warning to recreational fishers

30/07/2010:   Industry & Investment NSW has issued a precautionary warning to recreational fishers in Patonga Creek, Brisbane Waters, Broken Bay and surrounding areas after positive results for Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) were detected in some parts of the Lower Hawkesbury River.

As a precautionary measure people are advised to avoid collecting and eating bivalve molluscs (such as oysters, mussels, cockles, pipis and scallops) in the Patonga Creek, Brisbane Waters, Broken Bay and Hawkesbury River Mouth areas. Advisory signage will be put up in effected areas.

People should seek medical advice if they feel unwell after consuming shellfish from these areas.

Water monitoring in the area by the NSW Food Authority has detected the presence of toxins associated with PSP, however no algal blooms have been sighted and the specific algae responsible has not yet been identified.

Further water monitoring is being conducted by the NSW Food Authority.

PSP affects those who come into contact with the affected shellfish by ingestion. Symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, and a tingling or burning feeling to the lips, gums, tongue, face, neck, arms, legs and toes. Shortness of breath, dry mouth, a choking feeling, confused or slurred speech and lack of coordination are also possible. Ordinary cooking methods do not eliminate the toxin.

The NSW Food Authority confirms that commercial operators have ceased harvesting shellfish in the affected areas. Shellfish sold through market structures are not affected due to the stringent testing guidelines in the shellfish industry.

For further information visit: www.foodauthority.nsw.gov.au/industry/industry-sector-requirements/shellfish

Fishing media inquiries: Industry and Investment NSW (02) 6391 3785/p>

via I&I NSW