Paralytic shellfish toxin (PST) levels in lobster samples collected last week from the Central East and Maria Island rock lobster biotoxin management zones are still very high and well in excess of the regulatory limit of 0.8mg/kg. The highest results were 7.1 and 5.5 mg/kg. Whilst this is a decrease from the peak levels recorded 5 weeks ago (30 October), a much greater reduction will be needed before the zones can be re-opened for fishing.
The algal bloom is continuing to persist around the lower east coast, which is likely to slow the rate at which lobsters can flush out the toxin. Data from previous blooms, as well as the current event and research tank trials, suggests that even when the bloom has disappeared, it is unlikely that lobsters in these zones will return to acceptable levels within a month, given the latest PST results.
Accordingly, it is planned to re-sample lobsters from these zones around 15 January (5 weeks from the previous sample collection).
Lower East Coast Zone is closed pending results
Lobster samples from the Lower East Coast zone are at the Laboratory in Sydney for analysis. The results are anticipated late on Monday 18th December 2018.
Reminder: limpets, elephant snails, sea horses are protected.
A reminder to fishers that the following species are protected and must not be taken for any reason: limpet, elephant snail, seahorse, seadragon, pipehorse, pipefish, handfish, threefin blenny, Maugean skate and some sharks (great white, basking, grey nurse, megamouth and whale shark).
If you encounter or accidentally catch a protected species you must immediately and carefully return it to the water.
More information on protected species
Recreational Fisheries Section, DPIPWE
Phone: 1300 720 647