Following the release of confirmed reports related to high levels of poison found in shellfish samples obtained from the Coromandel Peninsula, Shellfish collectors are being cautioned regarding the same.
All the inshore islands of Tairua south, including Whiritoa, Whangamata, Onemana, and east along the Bay of Plenty coastline from Waihi beach, including Tauranga Harbour, to the initiation of the Whakatane River have hit the warning list. The waters besieging all these islands have been tested to contain high levels of paralytic shellfish poison.
The officials have warned the people to stop collecting or consuming shellfish from the coast and all above mentioned inshore islands.
The warning was initially made along the Bay of Plenty, however it widened to the eastern coast of Coromandel.
"The health warning affects all bi-valve shellfish including mussels, pipi, tuatua, cockles, oysters, scallops, catseyes and kina", outlined Thames-Coromandel District Council environmental health officer Allan Turner. "Paua, crayfish and crabs can still be taken but as always, the gut should be removed before cooking".
Reports have highlighted that eating shellfish carrying the paralytic shellfish toxin could result in numbness and tingling around the mouth and the face along with difficulty in breathing and swallowing food.