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Warning on shellfish from Westshore Reef lifted

MEDIA RELEASE

30 January 2004


Warning on collection of shellfish from Westshore Reef lifted – permanent warning remains for Pandora Pond area.

The Public Health Unit of Hawke's Bay District Health Board advises that a sample of shellfish was collected from Westshore Reef at the entrance to the Inner Harbour on Monday 26th January. The sample result is well within the acceptable limits for consumption and indicates that no significant contamination exists in the shellfish from the sewage overflow.

Warning signage at Westshore Reef was removed today. The swimming warning was lifted on Monday 29th January.

The public should be aware though that shellfish collected from the area around Pandora Pond should not be consumed. For a number of years now permanent warning signage against the collection of shellfish from this area has been in place. This reflects past shellfish testing results and is unconnected with the sewage overflow event on Friday 23rd January.

Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Lester Calder, advises that shellfish are easily contaminated by pollutants. Shellfish should not be collected for consumption from any site which might be affected by heavy rainfall washing contaminants into waterways, or specific “point source” contamination events from stock, wildlife, residential, agricultural, industrial, or urban sources.

“Shellfish filter contaminants from the water they are growing in and remain contaminated for an extended period of time. Consumption of contaminated shellfish can lead to serious infections,” he said.

END


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