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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thanks for the heads up, Abbyfireguy. Be careful out there.

From the DFO Site:
Fisheries and Oceans Canada is advising the public that the levels of paralytic
shellfish poisoning toxin (PSP or red tide) are high in numerous locations
throughout the coast. Many areas, including the entire North Coast, select
areas on the West Coast of Vancouver Island, and most of the Strait of Georgia
and Gulf Islands are now closed to harvesting bivalve shellfish due to
unacceptable PSP levels.

With all these PSP closures, the public is strongly urged to comply with
fishing regulations and not harvest any shellfish from these areas. It is
illegal to harvest shellfish from contaminated areas and eating contaminated
shellfish can cause serious illness. Cooking does not destroy the PSP toxin.

Shellfish that have been commercially harvested legally and have been through
the necessary health and safety inspections are safe to eat. Proper
documentation must accompany commercially harvested shellfish to demonstrate
that it has been harvested legally and been through the necessary inspections.

Bivalve shellfish are shellfish with two shells (such as oysters, mussels,
clams, and scallops). PSP is caused by a naturally-occurring algae (plankton)
in coastal waters. When water temperatures rise, the amount of the algae
increases in the water. As bivalve molluscs feed on this algae by filtering
large volumes of water, they accumulate and concentrate the toxins. PSP toxins
generally only occur in bivalve molluscs. Crab and shrimp are not affected by
these kinds of toxins.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada is reminding the public that B.C. coastal waters
are routinely monitored and are closed to shellfish harvesting when toxin
levels are too high for safe public consumption. Bivalve harvesting closures
are also implemented due to sewage contamination or dioxin levels in some
areas. Information on permanent bivalve harvesting closures and PSP updates
can be found on the DFO website:


Shellfish closures can change frequently, therefore harvesters also are
encouraged to check with the above website, call local the DFO offices (usually
in the blue pages of the phone book), or call (toll free) 1-866-431-3474 for a
listing of current closures prior to fishing.

Fisheries & Oceans Operations Center - FN0437
Sent June 16, 2006 at 1149
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