Public health warning Mohakatino - Motunui in Taranaki


17 December 2012

The Taranaki District Health Board Public Health Unit today issue a public health warning advising people not to collect or consume shellfish from Mohakatino down to Motunui.

This is an extension to the recent public health warnings released by the Waikato District Health Board covering from Kawhia-Raglan to Mokau.

Routine tests on shellfish samples taken from Mohakatino this week have shown levels of Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) at (1.08mg/kg). This level is above the Ministry for Primary Industry safe limit of 0.80 mg/kg and anyone eating these shellfish is potentially at risk of illness.

Kina, mussels, toheroa, pipis, tuatua, oysters and cockles in the affected area should not be eaten. Cooking shellfish does not remove the toxin.

Paua, crab and crayfish may still be eaten if the gut has been completely removed prior to cooking as toxins accumulate in the gut. If the gut is not removed its contents could contaminate the meat during the cooking process.

Symptoms of PSP usually occur within 12 hours of consuming shellfish and include:

  • Numbness and tingling around the mouth, face or extremities;
  • Difficulties in swallowing or breathing;
  • Dizziness; double vision; and in severe cases, paralysis and respiratory failure.
If anyone becomes ill after eating shellfish from an area where a public health warning has been issued they should contact a doctor immediately, advise the Public Health Unit and keep any left over shellfish.

Signage is currently being erected in the area affected. The Public Health Unit is continuing to monitor the situation.

For more information about the safety of the shellfish, people can contact a Health Protection Officer toll free at 0508 834 274.


For further information contact:
Taranaki DHB
Public Health Unit
Telephone 06 753 7798

Last updated: Tuesday, October 2, 2018

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