Dept of Health issues warning public not to eat shellfish from Swan and Canning rivers

Dept of Health issues warning public not to eat shellfish from Swan and Canning rivers

THE Department of Health is asking people not to eat shellfish collected from the lower part of the Swan and Canning Rivers.

The warning follows the recent widespread detection of potentially harmful microscopic algae.

The affected areas are downstream from the Causeway to Fremantle in the Swan River and downstream from Riverton Bridge to the Canning Highway in the Canning River.

WA Health Environmental Health Director Jim Dodds said the detected microscopic algae Dinophysisacuminata could produce shellfish poisoning.

“These algae, which are not visible to the naked eye, can produce toxins which could be absorbed by filter feeding shellfish,” Mr Dodds said.

“Symptoms of shellfish poisoning include nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal pain. Anyone who has eaten shellfish and experiences these symptoms should seek medical attention.

“Other recreational activities including swimming, fishing and boating are not affected by this species of microscopic algae”

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

They do not include crustaceans such as shrimp, prawns, crabs or lobsters.

Mr Dodds said farmed shellfish purchased in supermarkets and other commercial outlets in WA were not affected.