Safety of Fish and Shellfish for Eating

​Please note there are public health alerts in place for the eating of wild shellfish. Refer to the Director of Public Health's current Public Health warnings or phone the Department of Health and Human Services hotline on 1800 671 738.  For information about the open/closed status of fisheries see the Biotoxin Fishery Event webpage.

Tasmanian Blue mussel


  • The Department of Health's standing public advisory warns against collecting and eating wild bivalve shellfish in Tasmania. Fishers should consider the water quality of the general area before taking and consuming shellfish including species such as clams, mussels, scallops and oysters. Do not take shellfish from areas near stormwater drains, marinas, slipways or waste-water outfalls or after heavy rain. The advisory also warns that it is unsafe to eat shellfish from the Tamar or Derwent estuaries including Ralphs Bay.

Fish illustration by Peter GouldthorpeTasmania is periodically affected by toxic algal blooms, so follow any current Public Health warnings. If in doubt about the water quality or the safety of bivalve shellfish for eating, visit the Department of Health and Human Services website for advice or phone their hotline on 1800 671 738.


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.
Read the Derwent Estuary Program's Information for Recreational Fishers pamphlet (updated December 2012): Should I eat Fish and Shellfish from the Derwent River?

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:

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

For information on the Tasmanian Shellfish Quality Assurance Program, see www.​

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