Rock Lobster Fishery PST Update - 16 January 2018
Sampling Schedule - Updated 16 January
Central East and Maria Island Zones: Rock Lobster samples from these zones have been collected for paralytic shellfish toxin (PST) by an IMAS dive team and are now at the certified laboratory awaiting testing. It is anticipated the results may be received either on Friday, 19 January or Monday, 22 January 2018.
The Central East and Maria Island zones remain closed until the results determine the biotoxin status.
Rock Lobster and Giant Crab Fishery PST Update - 15 December 2017
Lower East Coast Zone will open Saturday 16 December 2017
Results from rock lobster sampled from the Lower East Coast Zone indicate paralytic shellfish toxin (PST) levels are below the regulatory limit.
The Lower East Coast Zone will open for Recreational and Commercial fishers:
- for setting rock lobster pots from 17:00 on Friday, 15 December 2017; and
- for rock lobster fishing and taking of rock lobster from 00:01 a.m. on Saturday 16 December 2017.
The Lower East Coast Zone will open for Giant Crab fishing :
- for setting of giant crab traps and taking of giant crab from 00:01 Saturday 16 December 2017
THE CENTRAL EAST ZONE AND THE MARIA ISLAND ZONES REMAIN CLOSED.
Region rock lobster and giant crab open/closed status
as at 15 December 2017. Open zones are depicted in green. Closed zones
are depicted in red.
Rock Lobster Fishery PST Update - 14 December 2017
Central East and Maria Island Zones to remain closed Paralytic shellfish toxin (PST) levels in lobster samples collected last week from the Central East and Maria Island rock lobster biotoxin management zones are still very high and well in excess of the regulatory limit of 0.8mg/kg. The highest results were 7.1 and 5.5 mg/kg. Whilst this is a decrease from the peak levels recorded 5 weeks ago (30 October), a much greater reduction will be needed before the zones can be re-opened for fishing.
The algal bloom is continuing to persist around the lower east coast, which is likely to slow the rate at which lobsters can flush out the toxin. Data from previous blooms, as well as the current event and research tank trials, suggests that even when the bloom has disappeared, it is unlikely that lobsters in these zones will return to acceptable levels within a month, given the latest PST results.
Accordingly, it is planned to re-sample lobsters from these zones around 15 January (5 weeks from the previous sample collection).
Lower East Coast Zone is closed pending results
Lobster samples from the Lower East Coast Zone are at the laboratory in Sydney for analysis. The results are anticipated Monday 18th December 2018.
Region rock lobster open/closed status as at 14 December 2017. Open zones are depicted in green. Closed zones are depicted in red.
Rock Lobster Fishery PST Update - 7 December 2017
Closures remain for Central, Maria Island and Lower East Coast Zones
Due to very challenging weather and sea conditions earlier this week, the sampling plan is running several days behind schedule. It is now underway in the closed zones with assistance from IMAS, a commercial fisher and a private contractor. The delivery of samples to the Sydney laboratory will be expedited as quickly as possible.
It is anticipated the results may be received by Friday 15 December or Monday 18 December. The bloom appears to be dissipating on the mid east coast but is still lingering around the lower east coast.
A significant reduction in PSTs is needed before any zone can be re-opened. Flushing of the toxin from rock lobster takes some time, even when the algal bloom has ended. Samples tested in early November recorded extremely high PST levels.
Rock Lobster Fishery PST Update - 24 November 2017
Storm Bay/Bruny Zone to open
Results from rock lobster sampled from the Storm Bay/Bruny zone indicate paralytic shellfish toxin (PST) levels below the regulatory limit.The STORM BAY/BRUNY ZONE will OPEN:For recreational fishers:
- for setting rock lobster pots, at 13:00 on Saturday, 25 November 2017; and
For commercial fishers
for taking rock lobster, pulling pots, rock lobster rings and diving for rock lobster, at 00:01 a.m. on Sunday, 26 November 2017;
(scheduled season opening date):
- for setting rock lobster pots, at 13:00 on Sunday, 26 November 2017; and,
THREE ROCK LOBSTER ZONES REMAIN SHUT.
- for taking rock lobster and pulling pots, at 00:01 a.m. on Monday, 27 November 2017.
The zones that remain CLOSED are:
Eastern Region open/closed status for recreational fishers from 26 November 2017. Open zones are depicted in green. Closed zones are depicted in red
Rock Lobster Fishery PST Update - 22 November 2017
Sampling Schedule - Updated 22 November
Storm Bay Bruny Zone:
Rock Lobster samples were collected for paralytic shellfish toxin (PST) sampling by an IMAS dive team on 20 November 2017 and are now at the certified laboratory awaiting testing. It is anticipated the results may be received either on Friday 24 November or Monday 27 November .Central Zone, Maria Island Zone & Lower East Zone:
With higher readings in these zones, it is planned to sample rock lobster around 4 December 2017. However, even if the bloom in this area abates quickly now, depuration from rock lobster takes some time, and with very high PST levels already recorded a significant reduction in PST is needed.
Other Species PST Sampling and Management - 22 November 2017
Due to the extremely high PST levels in wild oysters, mussels and rock lobster in the mid-East Coast; giant crab, sea urchins and abalone have also now been tested.
Results from sea urchin roe did not indicate any level of PST.
For abalone however, elevated levels were detected in the viscera and also to a degree in the flesh. These abalone were sampled in commercial abalone block 24C which is around the northern end of Maria Island in an area that has seen high levels of PST in mussels for a prolonged period.
The commercial abalone fishery has been closed in a number of fishing blocks in response to high levels being detected in other species (e.g. mussels). The areas have been closed under the
Primary Produce Safety (Seafood) Regulations 2014
. However these areas have generally not been tested for PST levels, rather they will remain closed to commercial fishing until the bloom fully receeds then a process of reopening will be undertaken (potentially later in 2018).
The abalone closure does not apply to recreational fishers, however fishers are reminded to consider the public health alerts relating the eating of wild shellfish see the Department of Public Health website.