6 Feb 2010

Renewed warning over toxic sea slugs

6:55 am on 6 February 2010

Health authorities are again warning people to beware of toxic sea slugs on Auckland's North Shore beaches.

Last year 15 dogs became sick with suspected poisoning from contact with sea slugs, prompting health warnings on most of the region's eastern beaches.

The slugs were found to have the deadly poison tetrodotoxin, more commonly found in puffer fish.

An Auckland medical officer of health, Simon Baker, says a child who was in contact with one of the slugs on a North Shore beach on Thursday was unharmed, however sea slugs can be fatal in extreme cases.

Dr Baker says tides are lower at this time of year, so more of the slugs are becoming exposed. People should be particularly vigilant at low tide and keep a close eye on children at the beaches, he says.