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Tasmanian oyster farms hit by shellfish toxin

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The discovery of a shellfish toxin on Tasmania’s east coast has resulted in two oyster growers halting production.

Health authorities have warned that shellfish from both the Great Oyster Bay area and Norfolk Bay in the state’s south have tested positive to a potentially fatal toxin, ABC News Reports.

Stuart Heggie state manager for environmental health at the Tasmanian Health Department said that none of the affected shellfish have been put out on the Tasmanian market, although two growers in the Great Oyster Bay area will be unable to harvest until the toxin levels drop.

The Seafood Industry council’s Neil Stump said that at present, the toxin is very localised and will impact on oyster growers namely in the Great Oyster Bay area.

"They have to cease production and can't sell any product so it will impact directly on them," Stump said.

"Other growers in the adjacent areas, where we've also detected the presence of this algae, are on a watch and alert at this stage."

In 2013 the Tasmanian oyster industry was hit by a number of contamination scares including an outbreak of Norovirus which resulted in sixty people falling sick after eating oysters from the state’s south, in addition to an algal bloom scare in the Great Oyster Bay area in 2012 also impacted on the region.

Image: news.net

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