Marine biotoxin closures affect entire Oregon coast

by OR Department of Fish & Wildlife Staff

SALEM, Ore. – New shellfish closures are affecting the entire Oregon coast, the Oregon Department of Agriculture and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife announced today. This comes after the Oregon Health Authority announced that at least 21 people were sickened by Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) after eating mussels recreationally harvested on the North Coast since May 25.

Mussel harvesting is now closed along the entire Oregon coast. Recent mussel samples taken from the coast exceed the limit for PSP, a natural marine biotoxin produced by some species of microscopic algae.

Current harvest closures and openings:

  • Mussel harvesting is closed coastwide for elevated levels of PSP.
  • Razor clamming is closed from Yachats to the California border for elevated levels of both PSP and domoic acid. It remains open from the Washington border to Yachats.
  • Recreational and commercial bay clam harvesting is closed from the Washington border to Cascade Head for elevated levels of PSP. This includes all clam species in the bays. Harvest is open from Cascade Head to the California border.
  • Crab harvesting remains open along the entire Oregon coast.

The ODA has also closed commercial oyster harvesting in Netarts and Tillamook bays.

ODA will continue testing for shellfish toxins at least twice per month, as tides and weather permit. Reopening an area closed for biotoxins requires two consecutive tests with results below the closure limit. 

For more information call ODA's shellfish biotoxin hotline at (800) 448-2474, the ODA Food Safety Program at 503- 986-4720, or visit the ODA Recreational Shellfish Biotoxin Closures Webpage.

Tomorrow, May 31, ODFW is hosting a 9:30 a.m. livestream with experts from ODFW, the Oregon Health Authority, and ODA on ODFW's YouTube and Facebook channels.

Contact ODFW for recreational license requirements, permits, rules, and limits.

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