Marine toxins close beaches

The Clallam County Department of Health and Human Services, Environmental Health Division announces an upgrade to the recreational shellfish harvest closures due to marine biotoxins. Sequim Bay and Discover Bay are now closed only to butter clams and varnish clams. The Strait of Juan de Fuca from Pillar Point west to Cape Flattery is open to all species.


The Strait of Juan de Fuca from Pillar Point eastward to Jefferson County is closed to all species. All species means clams (including geoduck), oyster, mussels and other invertebrates such as the moon snail. All areas are closed for the sport harvest of scallops. These closures do not apply to shrimp.


Crabmeat is not known to contain the biotoxin, but the guts can contain unsafe levels. To be safe, clean crab thoroughly and discard the guts (butter).


Marine biotoxins are not destroyed by cooking or freezing and can be life-threatening. Symptoms of poisoning 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 these symptoms should contact a health care provider. For extreme reactions, call 9-1-1.


For more information, call the Marine Biotoxin Hotline at 800-562-5632 or contact the Clallam County Environmental Health Food Safety Program at 417-2418.

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