PROFESSOR ANDREW JEFFS
There’s a number of types of phytoplankton, those are the tiny floating plants, which produce poisons or toxins. They probably produce them as a way of protecting themselves from fish and what have you from eating them. And so the mussels, because they filter such large numbers of those plants, they accumulate the poisons inside their bodies, and so that accumulated poison then becomes an issue for someone then going and eating a mussel, because there’s a larger volume of poison there which can start to cause problems.
Professor Andrew Jeffs – Leigh Marine Laboratory, Auckland University.