Shellfish in Kuantan Port waters poisonous

The Star 4 Sep 14;

KUANTAN: The public is advised not to pick or consume shellfish like cockles and mussels in the Kuantan Port waters at Tanjung Gelam as they are contaminated with paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP).

State Rural Development, Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Committee chairman Datuk Shafik Fauzan Sharif said tests conducted on samples of mussels and plankton showed toxin readings of between 317 and 3,560 microgrammes (ug) per 100 grammes.

"These toxin readings are above the standard set at 80 ug/100g, hence could endanger consumers' health and even cause death if no immediate treatment is sought," he said after closing the Strengthening Pahang Fishery Community Seminar.

The toxin contamination is the first to occur in Pahang waters. It was first detected after a number of individuals experienced food poisining after eating mussels from the area in November last year and a similar case happened in August this year.

In the second incident, the toxin was detected through tests conducted by the Fisheries Department's security bureau on samples of mussels from the area after a group of Indonesian workers suffered food poisoning after eating the shellfish on Aug 1.

Pahang Fisheries Department director Adnan Hussain said the department was investigating the source of the contaminaton and as a precautionary measure, it had placed signboards warning people not to pick or eat shellfish from the area.

"We will also analyse samples of water from the area each week to determine the toxin levels and would issue a warning if the water there is not safe for the public," he said. - Bernama

Fishing communities warned not to consume cockles from Kuantan Port area
T.N.Alagesh New Straits Times 4 Sep 14;

KUANTAN: The fishing communities here has been warned not to consume the cockles collected from the Kuantan Port area as the waters has been contaminated with the paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) or red tide toxin, which could cause death.

State Rural Development, Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Committee chairman Datuk Shafik Fauzan Sharif, who advised them to stop collecting and selling the toxic cockles, said several individuals has previously suffered from severe food poisoning after consuming them between November last year and August.

He said tests conducted by the state Fisheries Department on the oyster consumed by eight Indonesian labourers who suffered severe food poisoning on Aug 1 showed a high presence of PSP toxins.

"Checks conducted on the oyster and plankton samples in the area showed the toxin readings were recorded between 317 and 3,560 microgram (ug) per 100gram. The reading is far above the standard level which is about 80 ug per 100g.

"It is harmful to ones health and when a person consumes it, he or she has to seek immediate treatment or else it could lead to death. The public, especially the fishing communities are advised not to collect, eat or sell them," he told reporters after closing the State Fisheries Department Community programme here today.

Meanwhile, State Fisheries Department director Adnan Hussain said the department were in the midst of investigating what had caused the waters near Kuantan Port to be contaminated with the red-tide toxin as the case reported here was the first in Pahang.

He said the department had put up signboards to remind people not to collect or consume the cockles in the vicinity or collect the water in the area.

"Those who consume the toxic cockles will experience symptoms, such as numbness in the neck and lips, vomiting, dizziness and shortness of breath. The person should seek immediate assistance at the nearest hospital or clinic," he said, adding the department will continue to monitor the situation and provide information from time to time for the safety of the public.