Shellfish harvested from water in Otago with a potentially
toxic bloom should not be eaten and other fish should be
eaten only sparingly, a health professional says.
Southern District Health Board medical officer of health Dr
Marion Poore said the eating of freshwater shellfish, such as
kakahi or freshwater mussels, from water in Otago with a
blue-green algae was not recommended and fish should only be
eaten twice a week to stop the risk of accumulating toxins.
Minimal information was available about the potential toxic
effects of eating the fish but toxin accumulation studies
suggested algae toxins could build up in the internal organs
of fish, such as the liver and kidneys, but the fillets were
When people gutted and filleted the fish, they should use
gloves when removing the fat, skin, and organs and should be
careful not to cut into the organs, Dr Poore said.
Before cooking or freezing the fish, the fillets should be
rinsed with clean water to remove any contaminants from the