State prohibits shellfish gathering from Oak Bay

Leader News Staff
news@ptleader.com
Posted 9/21/22

Oak Bay has been shut down for recreational shellfish harvesting after recent shellfish samples confirmed that a harmful algae bloom has expanded to the bay. 

The Washington State Department …

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State prohibits shellfish gathering from Oak Bay

Posted

Oak Bay has been shut down for recreational shellfish harvesting after recent shellfish samples confirmed that a harmful algae bloom has expanded to the bay. 

The Washington State Department of Health announced Friday that recreational harvesting of all species of shellfish is prohibited due to elevated levels of the marine biotoxin that causes Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP). 

Health officials said danger signs have been posted at public access points warning people not to consume clams, oysters, mussels, or other molluscs from Oak Bay.

PSP can be fatal, and illness is caused by eating shellfish contaminated with toxins from the naturally occurring marine plankton Alexandrium. Officials warned the biotoxins cannot be destroyed by cooking. Symptoms of PSP can appear within minutes or hours and usually begin with tingling lips and tongue, moving to the hands and feet, followed by difficulty breathing, and paralysis. 

Public access points have been posted with warning signs, and the Department of Health Shellfish Safety Map has up-to-date information for shellfish harvesting throughout Washington at doh.wa.gov/ShellfishSafety.htm.

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