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On-Island Shellfish Testing Needed

5 Sep 2016

Andrea Dawkins MP | Greens Primary Industries spokesperson

Since 2012, the State's shellfish industries have been plagued with paralytic shellfish toxin, resulting in 50 Tasmanian farms being closed this year.

For many oyster growers, this is on top of last Summer's crippling POMS outbreak.

Currently, interstate testing delays mean shellfish are being shipped and served before health notifications are received.

Oyster growers have reported that their oysters are on the plate before they know there's a problem. This is extremely concerning from a public health perspective.

If not detected quickly, the paralytic shellfish toxin is a serious health risk. On top of this, it poses a serious risk to Tasmania's brand.

Tasmania's shellfish industries have been beset with problems, and are faced with warming waters and a changing climate. The State Government must help them maintain their competitive edge.

The Hodgman Government should commit to faster, on-island, shellfish testing to better protect the public, the purchasers of our products and producers themselves.

Primary Industries Minister, Jeremy Rockliff, must listen to the concerns of shellfish growers and producers, and act as a matter of priority.