17 Jan 2013

Shellfish ban lifted on North Island's west coast

8:51 pm on 17 January 2013

Public health services have lifted a toxic shellfish warning on the west coast of the North Island.

The Waikato District Health Board and Auckland Regional Public Health Service had issued a shellfish gathering ban in the area after toxins causing paralytic shellfish poisoning were detected.

Last year, 20 people were poisoned in Bay of Plenty after eating toxic shellfish.

Warnings in areas from just north of Taranaki up to just north of Dargaville have been lifted on Thursday.

Auckland Medical Officer of Health Simon Baker says water samples in the area have been clear for a while now, meaning it is unlikely the toxin will return.

Dr Baker says the toxic shellfish were unusual for the west coast area.