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Posts Tagged ‘paralytic shellfish poison’

Noise from Oil Exploration, Tourist Boats Kills 150 Whales

Posted by feww on December 28, 2009

Our thanks to TEAA for the links

Noise Pollution from NZ Oil Exploration, Tourist Boats and Toxic Pollution Strand 150 Whales to Their Deaths

Up to 150 whales died in less than 48 hours after two beachings, New Zealand’s  Department of Conservation reported.


Dead whales in Colville Bay on the Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand. Photo credit: Sally and Doug Morrison/ The Southland Times. Image may be subject to copyright. See Fair Use Notice.

About 30 pilot whales died after they became stranded on Coromandel peninsula yesterday and will be buried by the local Maori.

Meanwhile, up to 120 long-finned pilot whales, both calves and adults, were found dead  at the Farewell Spit on Boxing Day.

“More offshore wells have been drilled in the last two years than the rest of the decade combined: 35 on and offshore wells were drilled between January 2008 and July 2009 alone,” said a report.


Dead whales lie on the beach at Farewell Spit on New Zealand’s South Island December 28, 2009. More than 100 pilot whales died after being stranded at Farewell Spit, according to local media. The beached whales were discovered by a tourist plane on Saturday. Photo: New Zealand Department of Conservation/Handout via Reuters.

Each year about 2.5 million tourists visit New Zealand, straining its fragile ecosystems to the breaking point, creating a massive litany of different pollutions, including noise.

Mendo Coast Current wrote: “Studies show that these cetaceans, which once communicated over thousands of miles to forage and mate, are losing touch with each other, the experts said at a U.N. wildlife conference in Rome.”

“The sound of a seismic test, used to locate hydrocarbons beneath the seabed, can spread 1,800 miles under water, said Veronica Frank, an official with the International Fund for Animal Welfare. A study by her group found that the blue whale, which used to communicate across entire oceans, has lost 90 percent of its range over the past 40 years.”

Environmental experts are studying numerous cases of beached whales and dolphins that are believed to have been caused by sound pollution, according to Simmonds.

Just two weeks ago at least five whales died after nine were beached in Mediterranean off the  southern coast off Italy, an unusual place for whales to beach themselves.

‘A massive beaching is extremely rare in the Mediterranean,’ biologist Maurizio Wurtz at the University of Genoa said.

Noise pollution from seismic surveys for oil and gas as well as naval activities are believed to have confused whales by interfering  with their communication, thus leaving them stranded and ultimately dead,  many  Conservationists and biologists say.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) says man-made ocean noise inhibits cetaceans’ communication and disrupts their feeding.

The level of ocean noise in some regions is doubling each decade, according to IFAW.  “Humanity is literally drowning out marine mammals.”

[NOTE: We are also reminded that Coromandel peninsula is the same area where NZ Public Medical Office of Health reported “particularly high” levels of paralytic shellfish poison. See: Toxic shellfish from New Zealand can cause paralysis and respiratory failure within 12 hours of being consumed.  http://newzeelend.wordpress.com/2009/01/07/global-food-safety-alert-toxic-nz-shellfish-warning/ ]

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Posted in eco-terrorism, Endangered Species, ocean, Ocean Acidity, Seismic Surveys | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Biotoxin Bulletin – Imported NZ Food Alert

Posted by feww on January 7, 2009

Do NOT Consume or Import New Zealand Shellfish

Toxic shellfish from New Zealand can cause paralysis and respiratory failure within 12 hours of being consumed

Public Medical Officer of Health in New Zealand reported that levels of paralytic shellfish poison were “particularly high” along the eastern coastline of New Zealand and urged people  to avoid shellfish from the area. Source

Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (“red tide”)

Paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) is a serious illness caused by eating shellfish contaminated with algae that contains a toxin harmful to humans. When this algae increase to high numbers in marine waters, the condition is sometimes (and somewhat erroneously) referred to as a “red tide”.

Which seafood can transmit PSP to humans?

All molluscan shellfish including clams, mussels, oysters, geoduck and scallops can have paralytic shellfish poison. Moon snails and other gastropods also can become toxic. Other marine species, such as sea cucumbers, might also be affected. Crabmeat is not known to contain the PSP toxin, but the guts can contain unsafe levels. To be safe, clean crab thoroughly and discard the guts.

Who is most at risk?

Anyone who eats PSP contaminated shellfish is at risk for illness or death.

What are the symptoms of PSP?

Early symptoms include tingling of the lips and tongue, which may begin within minutes of eating poisonous shellfish or may take an hour or two to develop. Depending upon the amount of toxin a person has ingested, symptoms may progress to tingling of fingers and toes and then loss of control of arms and legs, followed by difficulty in breathing. Some people have experienced a sense of floating or nausea. If a person consumes enough poison, muscles of the chest and abdomen become paralyzed. Death can result in as little as two hours, as muscles used for breathing become paralyzed.

Does cooking the shellfish make it safe to eat?

No. The poison is not destroyed by cooking or freezing.

What should I do if I think that I, or someone in my family, has paralytic shellfish poisoning?

If symptoms are mild, call your health care provider and your local public health agency. If symptoms are severe, call 911 or have someone take you to the emergency room.

Where can I get more information?

Call the Washington State Department of Health’s Office of Shellfish and Water Protection at (360) 236-3330 or the Marine Biotoxin Hotline at 1-800-562-5632.

Source

Warning! Eating shellfish contaminated with marine biotoxin can kill you.

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Posted in clams, food safety, oysters, paralysis, Water Protection | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »