Wild Shellfish – Orford and Spring Bay Area

Wild Shellfish – Orford and Spring Bay Area

Danger: Do not eat wild shellfish from the Spring Bay Region in South Eastern Tasmania

This warning was issued on 6 March 2020 and remains current.

There has been a sewage spill in the town of Orford. Recreationally harvested shellfish should not be eaten from this area – including the Prosser River because the sewage may have contaminated shellfish with viruses and bacteria and made them unsafe.


Seek medical help if you get sick after eating wild shellfish.


There is always a risk of illness after consuming wild shellfish harvested where water quality is poor. This is because water quality influences shellfish quality. For example, it is always unsafe to eat wild shellfish collected near:

  • marinas or other places where boats discharge waste
  • sewage, industrial or stormwater outfalls
  • areas with septic tanks
  • places affected by recent heavy rain.

You can get gastro if you eat wild shellfish like oysters, mussels, clams, pipis, cockles and wedge shells.

Wild shellfish collected in Hobart’s Derwent Estuary and Launceston’s Tamar Estuary are always unsafe to eat.

Seafood in shops and restaurants is safe to eat because the Tasmanian Shellfish Quality Assurance Program monitors the safety of commercially grown shellfish. This program is managed by the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment

Always heed wild shellfish warning signs but please note the risks of illness are the same in places with no warning signs.