Emergency Fishery ClosuresInformation for Recreational Fishers
Information for Commercial Fishers
See the Update on the East Coast Toxic Algal Event (current as at 21 December 2012).
The latest laboratory test results (Fri Dec 21) confirmed that rock lobster sampled north of the closed area on December 15 had been impacted by toxic alga.
The levels of paralytic shellfish toxin (PST) in some samples are close to four times greater than the 0.8 mg/kg maximum recommended by public health authorities and there is no alternative but to extend the area closed to rock lobster fishing.
In response to the laboratory results, the Acting Director of Public Health has issued a public health warning regarding rock lobster in the area between Eddystone Point and a line of latitude running through the middle of Banks Strait in the north and a line running north from the eastern side of Waterhouse Island in the west. The southern boundary of the closed area at the southern end of Marion Bay remains unchanged.
Consistent with this, DPIPWE has moved the boundary of the east coast closed area both north and west to reflect the area now covered by the public health warning as shown by the red area in the map below.
DPIPWE will continue to monitor the situation and will undertake further sampling. This will inform future decision making on the situation.
Responsible actions taken by commercial rock lobster fishers and processors have enabled all rock lobster harvested from the area in question since 15 December to be accounted for to the satisfaction of the Department of Health and Human Services and the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.
This catch has been separated. It will only be sold if the risk of exposure to PST in rock lobster gut can be eliminated.
public health warnings.
Note the closure is in response to public health alerts and the closure is a legally enforced closure from the date of the public notice.
The recreational abalone fishery re-opened from 14 December 2012.
The closure applies to taking rock lobster, not possession of rock lobster. For this closure, recreational fishers can fish in the open part of the fishery and transit back through the closed area to their landing point.
Do I get a refund for my licence?
No refunds or partial refunds are offered. The fishery opened as usual, and it is unfortunate that part of the fishery is closed for a health alert. All other waters remain open and the closure may only be short term. You may note that revenue from the sale of sea fishing licences supports the Fishwise Fund and provides funds for programs that support recreational fishing activities. Go to the Fishwise Funds Planning and Expenditure web page for a summary of how the funds are used.
Should I purchase a licence this year?
The decision to purchase a licence is your decision. If you do not purchase a licence this year, you can still purchase a licence next year. If you state you have held a licence previously, you may keep your Unique Identifying Code for marking the buoys.
Can I delay my licence purchase?
If the only place you fish is on the East Coast in the current closed area, you may wish to delay the purchase of a licence, until the notification of re-opening occurs. Licences are available for purchase over the internet www.fishing.tas.gov.au/licence and a receipt will be issued. Similarly, you can go into Service Tasmania to purchase a licence when the affected part of the fishery reopens. A reminder that Service Tasmania shops are not open on weekends and during some holiday periods.
Which fish can I eat?
There are public health warnings in place for the eating of wild shellfish. For up-to-date information about public health alerts relating to eating wild shellfish, refer to the Director of Public Health's current Public Health warnings or phone the Department of Health and Human Services hotline on 1800 671 738.
If you have a specific food safety query e.g. I have rock lobster in my freezer which were taken from the closed area before the closure - are they safe to eat? - please phone the Public Health Hotline (details are below) as Wild Fisheries Management Branch, DPIPWE cannot provide detailed advice on health queries.
The area closed to rock lobster fishing was extended in the north to Waterhouse Island. See map above.
Links to relevant advice and documentation from the Department can be found below:
Abalone Fishery: The Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry has now lifted all export control orders relating to abalone harvesting between Eddystone Point and Deep Glen Bay. However the commercial abalone fishery on the East Coast closed on 31 December 2012 and will open again on 1 April 2013 in line with season dates that have been applied to this part of the fishery for the past two years.
Commercial Dive Fishery: Opened from 14 December.
email news service.
Commercial fishery enquiries: Ph (03) 6233 6797
Tasmania Online | Service Tasmania
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