The moratorium on the consumption of oysters along the Namibian coast has been lifted after no traces of the Diarrhetic Shellfish Poisoning were found in samples taken from aquaculture facilities in production areas of Walvis Bay.
The harvesting of oysters and mussels in Production Area 1 was halted about three weeks ago because of high levels of Diarrhetic Shellfish Poisoning found in samples taken by the Namibian Standards Institute
In a statement issued by Dr. Moses Maurihungirire, the Exutive Director of the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, the general public is informed that is safe to consume oysters again. Mussels from the area, however, have not been cleared for consumption by the NSI after a new round of tests still showed traces of DSP.
“Shellfish samples from Walvis Bay aquaculture Production Area 1 were collected and submitted for re-testing. The official sampling and testing is undertaken by the Namibian Standards Institution as guided by the National Shell Fish Sanitation Programme. All tests done on Oysters had negative results.”
Diarrhetic Shellfish Poisoning produces gastrointestinal symptoms, usually beginning within 30 minutes to a few hours after consumption of toxic shellfish. Although not fatal, the illness is characterized by diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.
The regular testing of shell fish is facilitated by the Namibian Standard Institution and is guided by the National Shellfish Sanitation programme to ensure the safety of consumers and to protect international markets.