Marine biotoxin alerts.

Shellfish and seawater samples around New Zealand are tested each week to ensure they are not contaminated with biotoxin from blooms of algae. Public warnings are issued when shellfish are not safe to eat. This page contains information relating to the non-commercial (recreational and traditional) taking of shellfish only.

This page is updated as soon as new information comes to hand. All the warnings on this page are current and remain in force.

Marine biotoxin warnings currently in force

North Island

Toxic shellfish warning area revised

The Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) toxin warning has now been removed from Waihi Beach northwards following ongoing shellfish toxin monitoring.  However, the current warning remains in place from Waihi Beach to the northern end of Pukehina.

The Medical Officer of Health, Richard Wall, advises against gathering or eating shellfish from Waihi Beach, along the Bay of Plenty coast to Rogers Road, Pukehina.  The warning includes Tauranga Harbour, Maketu and Waihi estuaries, Matakana and Motiti Islands, and all other islands along this coastline.

The health warning applies to all bi-valve shellfish including mussels, pipi, tuatua, cockles, oysters, scallops as well as catseyes and kina (sea urchin).  Shellfish in the affected area should not be taken or consumed.  Paua, crayfish and crabs can still be taken but as always, the gut should be removed before cooking.

Consumption of shellfish affected by the paralytic shellfish toxin can cause numbness and tingling around the mouth, face or extremities; difficulty swallowing or breathing; dizziness; double vision; and in severe cases, paralysis and respiratory failure. These symptoms usually occur within 12 hours of a person consuming affected shellfish. Anyone suffering illness after eating shellfish should seek medical attention.

Monitoring of toxin levels will continue along the coast and any changes will be communicated accordingly.

Up-to-date information on the toxic shellfish health warning can be found through these channels:

  • Phone: 0800 800 977 Waikato or 0800 221 555 Bay of Plenty
  • Website:
  • Signage at locations (i.e. shellfish health warning signs at affected beaches)

For more information:

Or please contact:

  • For Waikato/Coromandel - Kathryn Jenkin, Media and Communications, Waikato District Health Board.  Phone:  021 605 675.
  • For Bay of Plenty – Debbie Phillips, Communications Advisor, Health Service Development Team, Toi Te Ora Public Health Service.  Phone:  07 577 3793.

For further information or comment please contact:

Debbie Phillips, Communications Advisor
Ph: 07 577 3793
Mob: 021 791 814

South Island

No closures in place as of 10 March 2015.