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27 November 2009

Shellfish warning for Wilson Inlet near Denmark

The Department of Health is reminding people not to eat shellfish collected from Wilson Inlet near Denmark after recent tests confirmed elevated levels of potentially toxic algae.

Environmental Health Director Jim Dodds said the algae produced toxins which could be absorbed by filter feeding shellfish.

Normal cooking processes will not destroy these toxins.

“Anyone who has eaten shellfish collected from these waters and experiences symptoms including nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal pain, should seek medical attention,” Mr Dodds said.  

“As a general rule people should not eat wild shellfish from anywhere in WA as their safety cannot be guaranteed.”

This includes oysters, mussels, clams, pipis, scallops, cockles and razorclams.

It does not include crustaceans such as shrimp, prawns, crabs or lobsters.

Mr Dodds said shellfish purchased in WA supermarkets was not affected as it was managed by a strict quality-assurance program to ensure that it was safe for human consumption.

“Recreational activities including swimming, fishing and boating are not affected by the algae,” he said.

“Metropolitan recreational waterways are generally monitored for algal blooms, however algal blooms suspected in regional recreational waterways should be reported to the nearest Department of Water office or the local council.”

Further information on recreational water quality can be downloaded from

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