Fishers reminded to observe fishing closures in Williamtown

FISHERS are being reminded to observe fishing closures in Fullerton Cove and the upper Tilligerry Creek, following the contamination from legacy fire-fighting chemicals coming from the Williamtown RAAF Base.

Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Supervising Fisheries Officer, Ms Lee Burdett said the closure extends to all creeks and waterways upstream of these areas.

“The closure of both commercial and recreational fishing follows precautionary advice from NSW Health to avoid eating fish, crabs, prawns or wild oysters caught in the investigation area,” Ms Burdett said.

“Working with Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and NSW Health, DPI moved quickly to close the Fullerton Cove and upper Tilligery Creek fisheries until sampling and analysis of testing results is complete.  

“DPI and the NSW Food Authority will continue to sample and test fish, crabs and prawns as required until the WiIliamtown Expert Panel is satisfied the risk has been properly evaluated.

“Temporary signs have been erected and DPI Fisheries officers are patrolling the waterways to enforce the closure.

 “DPI Fisheries Officers have caught a number of people continuing to fish in the area and request members of the public to use common sense and adhere to the closure for their own safety.”

While commercial and recreational fishing bans are still in place, DPI Acting Manager Aquaculture, Tim Gippel, said farmed oysters are now safe to eat and pose no health risk.

“The precautionary one month ban on the sale of farmed oysters from the Tilligerry Creek Harvest Area was lifted earlier this month following advice from the Williamtown Expert Panel,” Mr Gippel said.

The Panel considered analysis of the estimated dietary intake for age, sex and whether people were large consumers of oysters. Consumers can be confident that farmed oysters in the marketplace meet the highest standards for quality and food safety.

Further information on the Williamtown RAAF base contamination is available HERE.




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