Technical Directive 99/125

Export of Crab, Paua and Kina - Biotoxin Requirements

Priority:  Normal
From:  Phil Busby, National Manager (Seafood) File:  S023-010
Date:  5 August 1999 (1) Publication Ref:  IAIS 003.5
1 Background
1.1 The three year sunset clause technical directive 96/166, export of crab, paua and kina – biotoxin requirements, issued 5 August 1996 is replaced and cancelled by this technical directive
1.2 Crab, paua and kina are not bivalve molluscs and do not fall within the definition of shellfish for the marine biotoxin programme. As such, the current endorsement required on MAF certificates for bivalve molluscs, is not relevant to the export of crab, kina and paua. Certification shall be as for finfish.
2 Exports from Open Areas
2.1 Whole paua may be exported from a growing area that is not closed due to marine biotoxins for the harvesting of bivalve molluscs.
2.2 Whole kina may be exported from a growing area that is not closed due to marine biotoxins for the harvesting of bivalve molluscs.
2.3 Whole crab may be exported from a growing area that is not closed due to marine biotoxins for the harvesting of bivalve molluscs.
3 Exports from Closed Areas
3.1 Paua that are harvested from a growing area which is closed to the harvesting of shellfish, shall be shucked or degutted before packing for export purposes. IAIS 003.5 requires that immediately after shucking (paua, other than paua that is to be canned in a licensed premise) shall be washed in potable water and drained . It is important that the paua be washed thoroughly to remove any gut that may have contaminated the paua during shucking. Inspectors should ensure companies are following the requirements of this circular. Inspectors should also check that canneries are taking steps (eg washing) to reduce any gut contamination of the paua.
3.2 Some paua products (eg paua fritters) contain a mixture of paua flesh and gut. Those products which are processed from paua taken from an area which is closed to the harvesting of shellfish are not to be exported or sold on the domestic market. Inspectors that are aware of any of this type of product on the domestic market should contact the local Public Health Unit.
3.3 Crab meat only may be exported from a growing area which is closed to the harvesting of shellfish. Inspectors should ensure that any company processing crab for export is gutting the crab before cooking and flesh removal.
3.4 Kina shall not be exported from a growing area which is closed to the harvesting of shellfish.
4 Domestic Market
4.1 Crab flesh (from crab that has been gutted before cooking) can be sold on the domestic market. The Ministry of Health has agreed that live crabs may be sold on the domestic market and is advising consumers to gut the crab before cooking. Instructions on how to gut crab are to be made available (by the Fishing Industry Board) at outlets where live crabs are sold.
5 Action
5.1 Inspectors are to:

(i) Advise companies which produce any paua product containing gut, which has been processed from paua taken from an area closed, for marine biotoxin reasons, to the harvesting of shellfish, that this cannot be exported nor sold on the domestic market.

(ii) Ensure that companies processing paua taken from an area which is closed, for marine biotoxin reasons, to the harvesting of shellfish are complying with the requirements of IAIS 003.5.

(iii) Ensure that companies that are exporting crabs, which have been harvested from areas closed, for marine biotoxin reasons, to the harvesting of shellfish, are gutting the crab before cooking and flesh removal.

6 Implementation
6.1 Immediate

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