It is not yet known when shellfish farms on Tasmania's east coast will be able to harvest again after a toxic algae scare stopped production late last week.
Routine testing of mussels from Spring Bay Seafoods uncovered a type of naturally occurring algal bloom.
The company issued a worldwide recall of its mussels and commercial shellfish harvesters have put their operations on hold while more tests are carried out in east coast waters.
Tasmania's health department has received test results revealing the type of toxic algae.
Public health director Roscoe Taylor says it has been detected before in Tasmania, but never in shellfish.
"We're currently taking a whole lot more samples and investigating this further," he said.
Spring Bay Seafoods believes operations could be on hold for a week or longer.
Managing director Phillip Lamb says it is unclear whether compensation can be sought through insurance.
"We're still looking into that so I can't answer that at the moment," he said.
"Obviously your customers are thought of first and so ensuring there's just no potential is what the recall's all about.
"We're still counting the cost and getting the recovering of volumes that are out there but we're not talking sheep stations." He says mussels filter a lot of water each day and the algae may pass through quickly.
Dr Taylor says the Health Department has not received reports of illness caused by contaminated shellfish.
"Our task is to make sure that the public remains protected from unsafe shellfish so we're focusing on sampling in a more broader area to make sure that things are okay and holding the shellfishery closures in place," he said.
"If we take the worst case where the toxins present are all of a fairly significant type of toxin, you may only have to eat three or so mussels in order to become significantly ill.
"But, as I say, we haven't had any cases like that reported, so it's possible that the toxins aren't necessarily of the same type as those that occur overseas."