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File photo: algae warning sign

Shellfish algae warning

Shellfish algae warning

File photo: algae warning sign

‘Do not eat shellfish’ advice for the Gippsland Lakes

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), in consultation with the Department of Health (DH), has issued an advice to not eat mussels and other types of shellfish collected from anywhere in the Gippsland Lakes.

The advice is due to the ongoing poor water quality in the Gippsland Lakes and high levels of the dinoflagellate algal species Prorocentrum cordatum detected at various locations across Lake Victoria and Lake King.

The poor water quality in the Gippsland Lakes system is due to sediment and other nutrients from the bushfires is washing into the lakes system from recent high rainfall and river flows.

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DELWP said it is working with DH to monitor the situation and keep people informed. Signs are in place across the Gippsland Lakes advising not to eat shellfish. Further information will be issued via the DELWP Water website: https://www.water.vic.gov.au/waterways-and-catchments/rivers-estuaries-and-waterways/bluegreen-algae and the DELWP Customer Service Centre on 136 186.

DELWP said that as a general rule, it is recommended not to swim or come into contact with water that has surface scum or looks murky. They are currently doing broad scale water sampling across the Lakes system to monitor algae levels. Algae can grow quickly in the right conditions and situations can change rapidly. For further information on recreational water refer to https://www2.health.vic.gov.au/publichealth/water/recreational-water-health-hazards

For more information on harmful algal blooms refer to: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/Harmful-algal-blooms

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