October 19, 2020
Toxic shellfish warnings weigh heavy
A Far North iwi leader is urging people to respect a rāhui on gathering kaimoana from Northland's west coast.
The Ministry of Primary Industries has issues a shellfish biotoxin alert from Waipapakauri on 90 Mile Beach to Pouto Point on the northern head of the Kaipara Harbour.
It covers mussels, oysters, tuatua, pipi, toheroa, cockles, scallops, catseyes, kina and all other bivalve shellfish.
The toxin can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and even death.
Haami Piripi from Te Rarawa says because of their close relationship with the takutai moana, he fears many whānau will ignore the risk.
"We are so intertwined in terms of practices, protocols, rituals, philosophies, it's hard to separate the two and we are going to make our own choices and judgments about where the tolerance level is," he says.
Haami Piripi says warning signs would be posted in the coming days.
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