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Bivalve shellfish harvesting and consumption in New Zealand, 2011: Data for exposure assessment

Abstract

We provide an overview of bivalve molluscan shellfish (BMS) availability to New Zealanders. Data on commercial production (aquaculture) and harvesting, non-commercial (recreational and customary) harvesting and international trading (imports, exports) of BMS were assembled. These data were transformed to estimate the total weight (greenweight and meatweight) of each BMS species, and all BMS species, available to New Zealand domestic consumers in 2011. An estimated 68,000 tonnes greenweight, or 13,000 tonnes meatweight, of BMS were available. Mussels (mostly commercially-produced Perna canaliculus) accounted for 96% of the total available BMS by meatweight. Non-commercially harvested BMS were 1% of the total available BMS. BMS availability was estimated as 8 g/person/day for the total New Zealand population and 407 g/person/day for shellfish consumers. These estimates were comparable to published national consumption data. The results can be used as inputs to exposure assessment. Food availability is a useful estimate where consumption data are limited.

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