Restrictions on recreational fishing at Port Pirie will remain in place after scientific sampling of fish, crabs and shellfish detected above permissible levels of lead.

Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development David Basham said people should not consume fish, crabs or shellfish from the Port Pirie harbour area.

“On 15 September precautionary restrictions were imposed on recreational fishing at Port Pirie and these restrictions will be continued,” Minister Basham said.

“Under the fisheries restrictions, the taking of shellfish in this region is prohibited. In Zone 1 crab fishing is prohibited and fishing for finfish is strictly catch and release only. Fishing for crabs and for finfish is permitted in Zone 2.

“This means residents can drop a line over the jetty in Port Pirie and enjoy the fishing experience, but any fish caught must be returned to the water and are not to be eaten.

Sampling was undertaken of yellowfin whiting, striped trumpeters, yellow-eye mullet, Australian salmon, blue swimmer crabs, mussels and razorfish, with testing completed by the Australian Government’s National Measurement Institute.

The results show heavy metal detections above permissible levels in at least one of all aquatic species tested across the sampling locations.

“These results will enable SA Health to conduct a preliminary health risk assessment on the consumption of aquatic species within the Port Pirie area,” Minister Basham said.

“While the fishing restrictions are in place, SA Health have recommended additional sampling of finfish and crustaceans in Zone 2, which will guide future health advice about fishing restrictions.

“The Government will work with stakeholders including fishing associations and community organisations in the Port Pirie region and both the Port Pirie and Mount Remarkable councils have been briefed on the test results.

“These results only impact recreational fishing.

“All consumers can continue to have confidence in our quality seafood product as commercial fishing does not occur in this region and our commercial fisheries are supported by an ongoing program of National Residue Survey testing.

Port Pirie fishing closure

Temporary closure: 15 September 2021.

Closure location: waters adjacent to the Port Pirie township.

A temporary closure is in place as a precautionary health and safety measure. Shore, jetty and boat-based fishing activity is restricted in the closure area as follows:

Zone 1 – waters south and west of Weeroona Island Boat Ramp and including First Creek, Second Creek and Port Pirie River.

all species, including all molluscs, crustaceans and fish, must not be taken from this area. Catch and release fishing is permitted.

Zone 2 – waters in the Port Germein area, extending north and west from Weerona Island Boat Ramp.

bivalve molluscs eg. oysters, mussels, scallops and razorfish, must not be taken from this area.

Categories: GENERAL News

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