The recreational rock lobster and abalone fisheries on Tasmania’s east coast are being closed because of a potentially deadly shellfish toxin.
Health authorities are warning the spread of a toxic algal bloom is affecting the two species.
The waters from Marion Bay north to Eddystone Point are closed to recreational lobster and abalone fishers from midnight Thursday.
Mark Nikolai from the Tasmanian Association for Recreational Fishing says it is a shock, especially in the lead up to Christmas.
“The east coast, for recreational fishers for Tasmania, is the main spot where people go fishing,” he said.
“We catch 60 per cent of our total allowable catch off the east coast.”
Earlier this month, the toxic algae prompted a recall of mussels and a shut down of the scallop industry.
The east coast’s commercial rock lobster and abalone fisheries were also closed as a precaution.
• Mercury: … and there are fears the toxin may spread to fin fish. Samples of flathead will be taken from the affected area and sent for testing. If those results come back positive, other fish species will be checked. HERE