Oysters destined for a research project on Maui were stolen last week and may have subsequently been sold at below-market prices.
According to the Maui Nui Marine Resource Council, the stolen oysters were being used to clean polluted water and are unsafe to eat.
Consuming them can cause severe illness, including vibrioitis, which can cause watery diarrhea, often accompanied by abdominal cramping, nausea, vomiting, fever and chills. The bacteria which causes it, vibrio, is naturally occurring and can be found in warm coastal waters and harbors.
Maui Nui Resource Council officials say that if you have reason to believe that the oysters you’ve purchased or consumed were stolen, call the Council at (808) 707-5056 to report it.
“These oysters that were stolen were purchased with money raised by our community, to help clean polluted ocean water and benefit our local coral reefs,” post from the Council read on Facebook. “We are heartbroken that this has occurred, but most of all, we are concerned about residents of our community who may consume these oysters and fall ill.”
It is illegal to catch, take, kill, possess, remove, sell, or offer for sale oysters or clams from the waters of the state of Hawai‘i according to fishing regulations HAR 13-83 and HAR 13-85. Violators shall be punished as provided by law. Maui Nui Marine Resource Council is permitted through the State of Hawaii for our oyster project.