Safety of Fish and Shellfish for Eating
Recreationally harvested wild shellfish
There is always some risk to your health from eating wild shellfish that you have collected. Do not take shellfish from:
- where boats discharge;
- near sewerage, industrial or stormwater outfalls;
- near septic tanks; or
- places affected by heavy rainfall.
Tasmania is periodically affected by harmful algal blooms. Red wild shellfish warning signs are displayed at popular boat ramps and jetties along Tasmania's north east, east and south east coastlines when harmful 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 alerts 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
Heavy 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.
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
For Public Health information
on consumption of recreationally harvested wild shellfish, see:www.dhhs.tas.gov.au/publichealth/alertsFor fishery closure information
, contact the Wild Fisheries Management Branch on 1300 720 647.