PORT DICKSON: The results of Kuala Lumpur Fisheries Biosecurity Centre’s laboratory analysis found that there are harmful algae that cause mussels in Port Dickson waters to be contaminated and unsafe to eat.

Department of Fisheries (DOF) deputy director-general (Management), Wan Aznan Abdullah said water samples and mussels in the waters were contaminated with biotoxins as well as harmful Prorocentrum, Alexandrium and Pseudonitzschia algae species.

“The hot weather is also one of the causes of this algae multiplying quickly in the waters, but it does not affect other marine life such as fish, shrimp, crabs and so on.

“We advise the public not to eat these mussels within 20 days, after this festive season we will take more samples to be tested, before confirming that the mussels here are safe to eat,“ he said at a press conference here today which was also attended by the state Fisheries Department director Kasim Tawe.

He said the department will continue monitoring with regular testing according to the established procedure until the cell density in the water decreases and biotoxins in the mussel contents are not detected.

According to him, DOF is cooperating with other enforcement members such as the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM), marine police in the waters here to ensure that there is no harvest and sale of shellfish in this district.

“There are 40 registered mussel operators here in Pasir Panjang including unregistered ones. The existing mussels in the waters do not have to be disposed of, they will neutralize themselves, except that the mussels that have been harvested and sold in the market must be destroyed,“ he said.

He said water samples were also taken in the waters of Melaka and Johor, and they were found to be safe and there was no proliferation of the algae.

In the meantime, Wan Aznan said one poisoning victim is still receiving treatment in the intensive care unit (ICU) at Port Dickson Hospital.

Earlier, Negeri Sembilan DOF was reported to have taken samples of mussels and water in the waters of Port Dickson following an alleged case of food poisoning due to the seafood.

The state Health Department also said that there were eight cases of food poisoning related to the consumption of mussels with two cases admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), regular wards (five) and outpatients (one).

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