Safety of Fish and Shellfish for Eating


Recreationally harvested wild shellfish

Tasmanian Blue musselThere is always some risk to your health from eating wild shellfish that you have collected.  Do not take shellfish from:
  • where boats discharge;
  • marinas;
  • near sewerage, industrial or stormwater outfalls;
  • near septic tanks; or
  • places affected by heavy rainfall.
Tasmania is periodically affected by algal blooms.  'Do Not East Wild Shellfish' warning signs are displayed at popular boat ramps and jetties along Tasmania's north east, east and south east coastlines when algal blooms are present.

The Department of Health's standing public advisory warns against collecting and eating wild shellfish in Tasmania.  Other periodic public health ale​rts about shellfish in certain areas may also be issued.  You can also phone the Department of Health hotline on 1800 671 738.

Derwent and Tamar Estuaries

Do not consume shellfish from the Derwent or Tamar Estuaries including Ralphs Bay as they contain high levels of heavy metals.  More information from the Derwent Estuary Program.


Derwent Estuary

  • Fish Illustration by Peter GouldthorpeHeavy metal contamination in the Derwent Estuary also affects the type and amount of seafood caught in the area that you should eat.
  • The Director of Public Health advises people not to eat bream caught in the Derwent and Browns River.
  • Limit meals of Derwent caught scalefish to no more than two per week or one meal per week for pregnant and breastfeeding women, women planning to become pregnant and children aged 6 years and younger.
  • More information about the health of the Derwent River and eating fish caught in it is available from the Derwent Estuary Program website.

Other Areas

Eating Fish Offal

It is advisable to remove the gut of wild abalone, crab and rock lobster before eating the meat.

Unusual Signs in Wild Fish

Spotted something unusual in your catch, for example, black marks in flathead fillets?  For advice what to do when this happens, read the Lab Fac below from the DPIPWE Fish Health Laboratory.
  Fish Health Lab Fact - Unusual signs in wild fish   (184Kb)

More information

For Public Health information on consumption of recreationally harvested wild shellfish, see:​lth/alerts​

For fishery closure information, contact the Wild Fisheries Management Branch on 1300 720 647.

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