BREMERTON, Wash. — High levels of marine biotoxins detected in shellfish samples from the Port Orchard Marina in the Sinclar Inlet have closed the harvesting of clams, oysters and mussels in the area.
Waters from Point Herron south to the Annapolis dock were closed, and warning signs have been posted at public beaches alerting people not to collect shellfish from the closed areas.
The biotoxins that cause diarrheic shellfish poisoning were detected in samples at 20 micrograms per 100 grams of shellfish people by state officials. Beaches are closed to recreational shellfish harvesting when levels exceed 15 micrograms per 100 grams of tissue.
People can become ill from eating shellfish contaminated with the naturally occurring marine algae that contains toxins that are harmful to humans. DSP symptoms can begin from 30 minutes to 12 hours after eating contaminated shellfish, causing nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea, with diarrhea being the most commonly reported symptom. Most symptoms subside within 72 hours.
Shrimp and crab are not included in the closure, but crabs should be cleaned prior to cooking, and the crab butter should be discarded, officials said. Commercially harvested shellfish are safe to eat.
For more information on the closure, visit ww.kitsappublichealth.org.