Sequim Bay closed for recreational harvest of shellfish

SEQUIM — Sequim Bay has been closed to recreational harvesting of all species of shellfish because of a high level of the toxin that causes diarrhetic shellfish poisoning found in samples.

The beach was closed Friday by the state Department of Health because the finding of 23 micrograms per 100 grams of shellfish tissue was above the safe level of 16 micrograms per 100 grams of tissue for the marine biotoxin that causes diarrhetic shellfish poisoning, or DSP.

Beaches on the Strait of Juan de Fuca remain open to harvesting of all species.

Discovery Bay and Port Ludlow including Mats Mats Bay are closed for the harvest of butter clams and varnish clams only.

Ocean beaches are under an extended seasonal closure.

DSP can cause diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps and chills.

Shellfish harvested commercially are tested for toxins prior to distribution and are safe to eat, according to the Department of Health.

Marine biotoxins are not destroyed by cooking or freezing.

Recreational shellfish harvesters can get the latest information about the safety of shellfish on the state website at www.doh.wa.gov or by phoning 800-562-5632 before harvesting shellfish anywhere in the state.

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