15 August 2018

Namibia: Fisheries Warns Against Poisonous Oyster, Mussel

THE FISHERIES ministry has cautioned the general public not to consume oysters and mussels originating from the Walvis Bay Aquaculture Production Area 1.

This caution comes after recent biotoxins tests done on oyster and mussel samples on aquaculture in the said area found the presence of Diarrhetic Shellfish Poisoning (DSP) at a level higher than the permissible level in these samples.

The sampling and testing were facilitated by the Namibian Standards Institution (NSI) as part of the National Shellfish Sanitation Programme.

A media release issued by the ministry yesterday warned that it is therefore unsafe to consume oysters and mussels until further notice.

Members of the public should take note that marine biotoxins are not destroyed by cooking or freezing.

Earlier this year in May, the ministry had issued another caution against the consumption of the same seafood. In 2016, the ministry noted in a separate incident that the poisoning was only temporary and that the oysters and mussels could be consumed when laboratory results indicate a lower level of the harmful substances.

"DSP is one of the four recognised symptom types of shellfish poisoning after paralytic shellfish poisoning, neurotoxic shellfish poisoning and amnesic poisoning," the media release added.

According to the ministry, this syndrome manifests itself as intense diarrhoea and severe abdominal pains, nausea and vomiting.

DSP and its symptoms usually set in within about an hour of ingesting infected shellfish and last for about one day.

The ministry added that as no life-threatening symptoms generally emerge from this, no fatalities have ever been recorded. However, the public is advised to seek immediate medical assistance once any of the symptoms mentioned above occur.

- Nampa

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