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Hawke's Bay Toxic Shellfish closure over for now

Toxic Shellfish closure over for now - entire Hawke’s Bay coastline open for shellfish collection

Hawke’s Bay District Health Board is pleased to advise that the entire Hawke’s Bay coastline, from Whareongaonga (approximately 22km north of Mahia) down to Cape Turnagain is now opened for the collection of shellfish for consumption.

The entire Hawke’s Bay coastline has been closed for the collection of shellfish from early May this year due to the presence of the Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) toxin in the shellfish at levels above the New Zealand Food Safety Authorities Safe Health Limit. The toxic algae responsible was Gymnodinium catenatum.

In past previous three years the presence of PSP toxin due to Gymnodinium catenatum has closed the coastline for 3 to 4 months from mid May onwards, but this year it appears to have left early, and hopefully will not return again this year at least.

Further on-going routine monitoring samples will continue to be collected from all areas, and the public will be advised should the ‘open’ status change. Warning signs are currently being taken down.

Please note that some other sections of the New Zealand coastline remain closed for the collection of shellfish for consumption due to toxic algae. This opening refers to the Hawke’s Bay coastline only. Information on other closed areas around the country can be found on

During the closure no cases of Toxic Shellfish Poisoning were reported to the Public Health Unit from the public, or by doctors. The symptoms of Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning can be very serious, and life threatening in some circumstances.

Information on the closure event is also posted on the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board’s web site in the Public Health Unit’s area of the site.

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