Radio New Zealand News Report Today: The Ministry of Health has warned that no shell-fish should be gathered on the West Coast at the moment. Shell-fish are contaminated from Taranaki in the South, way up to Dargaville in the North. The Bay of Plenty is also thought to be affected.
Shell-fish are likely to be toxic as a result of poisons they have ingested from algae, so one researcher says. This extremely toxic poison contaminating shell-fish in these areas works like an anaesthetic and causes paralysis. It can cause breathing difficulties. The initial symptoms of this type of shell-fish poisoning are tingling in the mouth, in the toes and in the hands. Shortness of breath could be another symptom.
While not all shell-fish may be contaminated, there is a very real risk that they might be. So you should not eat any shell-fish collected on the North Island’s West Coast, or in the Bay Of Plenty.
Environmental Pollution: This poisoning of our shell-fish is a result of environmental pollution. Algae in our waterways gets out of control because of many things: Pesticides. Herbicides. Artificial fertilizer. Run-off from dairy farms, etc. Inorganic toxic material such as toxic paint residue, engine oil, petroleum products, etc. All these things find their way into our precious streams, rivers, and ultimately, they end up polluting the coast-line and the ocean.