The Oregon Department of Agriculture and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife announce the closure of recreational mussel harvesting from Cape Arago in Coos County to the California border due to elevated levels of paralytic shellfish toxins. The closure includes mussels found on the beaches, rocks, jetties, and bay entrances in this section of the Oregon Coast.
Recreational mussel harvesting remains open north of Cape Arago. All other recreational shellfish harvesting is open for the entire Oregon Coast.
Shellfish contaminated with paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs) can cause minor to severe illness or even death. The symptoms usually begin with tingling of the mouth and tongue. Severe poisoning can result in dizziness, numbness and tingling in the arms and legs, paralysis of the arms and legs, and paralysis of the muscles used for breathing.
Cooking will not destroy the shellfish toxins.
Shellfish toxins are produced by algae and usually originate in the ocean. ODA will continue to test for shellfish toxins weekly, as tides permit. Reopening of an area requires two consecutive tests in the safe range.
For more information, call ODA’s shellfish safety information hotline at (800) 448-2474 or visit the ODA shellfish closures webpage
Media contact: Alex Manderson at (503) 842-2607.PDF version