Toxic algae warning for West Lakes

Friday, 8 March 2019

South Australians are reminded not to collect shellfish from West Lakes, after a potentially toxic microalgae was detected during routine testing.

SA Health’s Principal Water Quality Adviser, Dr David Cunliffe, said algal toxins can accumulate in shellfish, resulting in a potential health risk to humans.

“There is a permanent ban on the collection of shellfish from West Lakes, as the area is subject to the occasional growth of toxic microalgae,” Dr Cunliffe said.

“Given the recent test results, we are reminding the public that shellfish, such as mussels and cockles, should not be collected from algae infested waters and should not be consumed.

“Consuming contaminated shellfish can cause illness, with symptoms including nausea, diarrhoea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and in severe cases dizziness and confusion.

“People can continue to use the water for recreational purposes such as swimming and kayaking.”

Signage in the area advises the public not to take shellfish, however the warning does not apply to fish as they do not accumulate the toxin.

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