Despite rock lobster in the Storm Bay and Bruny Zone on the east coast displaying paralytic shellfish toxin (PST) levels above the maximum permitted level for safe human consumption earlier this month, new results show the levels have dropped.
Lobster samples collected from the zone on December 1 showed the PST levels had dropped below the maximum permitted level in time for the fishing season.
Other samples were taken from the Central East, Maria Island, Lower East areas in the East Coast Stock Rebuilding Zone and found the PST levels were either low or negligible.
The department announced the entire east coast zone would open for recreational fishers on December 7 and for commercial fishers on December 10.
The western zone opened on November 1 for rec fishers and November 15 for commercial fishers.
IN OTHER NEWS:
For rec fishers the season in the western zone for female lobsters closes on April 30 and for males on August 31. The eastern zone, for any lobster sex, closes on April 30.
New rock lobster rules affecting recreational fishers came into effect on November 1 in time for the 2019/20 season, including increasing the female legal minimum size limit in the north west, between Point Sorell and the Henty River, from 105mm to 120mm.
Recreational pot limits were also reduced in the Northern Bass Strait western region from 25 to 10 pots.
PST in shellfish is caused by harmful algal blooms and can affect humans if ingested with symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bodily tingling or burning.
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