25 Sep 2014

Canada bans live export of mussels

4:43 pm on 25 September 2014

The detection of a shellfish disease in mussels in the South Island has led to Canada banning imports of live New Zealand greenshell mussels.

greenshell mussels

Photo: PHOTO NZ

The Ministry for Primary Industries says the ban follows the detection of a single organism of Perkinsus olseni in September.

The disease is endemic in shellfish in the North Island, but not in mussels, and is not a food safety risk.

A spokesperson for the ministry says since November 2013, New Zealand has only sent one 88kg consignment of live greenshell mussels to Canada worth less than $1000.

Most of the greenshell mussel trade with Canada involves frozen mussels and this is unaffected by the ban.