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    Marine Bio-toxin alert for Port Underwood

    Mānatu Atu Matua (The Ministry for Primary Industries) have issued a marine bio-toxin alert for Port Underwood.

    Do not collect or eat shellfish from areas where shellfish biotoxin warnings have been issued. Bio-toxins can be extremely harmful to humans and can contaminate many species of kaimoana.

    Read the full alert: Shellfish biotoxin alerts | NZ Government (

    What to do if you are māuiui

    If any whānau gets māuiui from kaimoana it is important to seek medical help immediately.

    Contact the on-call Health Protection Officer on 03 520-9999 for Wairau and 03 546-1800 for Whakatū.

    Date warning issued

    31 May 2023

    Affected area

    Port Underwood

    Shellfish affected

    Mussels, oysters, tuatua, pipi, toheroa, cockles, scallops, catseyes, kina (sea urchin) and all other bivalve shellfish.

    Note, cooking shellfish does not remove the toxin.

    Pāua, crab and crayfish may still be eaten if the gut has been completely removed prior to cooking, as toxins accumulate in the gut. If the gut is not removed its contents could contaminate the meat during the cooking process.


    Symptoms typically appear between 10 minutes and 3 hours after ingestion and may include:

    • numbness and a tingling (prickly feeling) around the mouth, face, and extremities (hands and feet)
    • difficulty swallowing or breathing
    • dizziness
    • headache
    • nausea
    • vomiting
    • diarrhoea
    • paralysis and respiratory failure and in severe cases, death.

    Other information

    Paralytic shellfish toxins have been detected in mussels throughout Port Underwood at levels well over the safe limit of 0.8mg/kg set by New Zealand Food Safety. Ongoing testing will continue and any changes will be communicated accordingly.

    Richard Liddicoat

    Read more posts by this author.

    Marine Bio-toxin alert for Port Underwood