Foreign poison hits shellfish

Date: 1/8/2000

An organism that has never been found before in New Zealand is responsible for the ban on gathering shellfish, kina, crab and crayfish on the west coast of the North Island. Gymnodinium catenatum is usually only found in the North Pacific and Tasmania, and is likely to have arrived on the coast in early June. The organism can cause paralytic shellfish poisoning, particularly among children and small people as it works on a dose-weight ratio.

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