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PSP closes beaches to recreational shellfish harvest

 

The Clallam County Department of Health and Human Services, Environmental Health Division, announces a recreational shellfish closure in Dungeness Bay and the Strait of Juan de Fuca from Dungeness Spit east to the Jefferson County line due to detection of Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning toxin.

The following beaches are closed for the recreational harvest of all species of shellfish:

• Ocean beaches (seasonal closure)

• The Strait of Juan de Fuca from Cape Flattery eastward to the Jefferson County line

• Discovery Bay, Sequim Bay and Dungeness Bay.

All species means clams (including geoduck), oysters, mussels and other invertebrates such as the moon snail. All areas are closed for the sport harvest of scallops. Closures do not apply to shrimp. Crabmeat is not known to contain the biotoxin, but the guts can contain unsafe levels. Clean crab thoroughly and discard the guts (butter).

Warning signs are posted at public beaches alerting people not to collect shellfish from the closure areas. 

Shellfish harvested commercially that are available in stores and restaurants are tested for toxin prior to distribution and are safe to eat. 

Marine biotoxins are not destroyed by cooking or freezing and can be life-threatening. 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 potentially death. Anyone experiencing symptoms should contact a health care provider. For extreme reactions, call 9-1-1.

For more information about the closure, call the Marine Biotoxin Hotline at 800-562-5632 or visit the Department of Health’s Marine Biotoxin Website at http://ww4.doh.wa.gov/gis/biotoxin.htm. For additional information, call the Clallam County Environmental Health Division at 417-2543.

Health-related closures are in addition to closures regulated by the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife. Fish and Wildlife closures can be found at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/beaches/ or call the hotline at 866-880-5431.

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