Clam harvesting in certain areas along north west Vancouver Island has been postponed until further notice due to increased marine biotoxin levels.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s (DFO) recent paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) testing data led to the closure of bilvalve shellfish harvests in sub area 25-11 (Espinosa Inlet and Little Espinosa).
Subareas 25-1 to 25-5, 25-9, 25-10, 25-12 to 25-14 are open to manila clams, littleneck clams, oysters and mussels only. Balance of Area 25 is closed to all bivalve shellfish harvesting.
Commercial opening scheduled for Jan. 26 has been postponed until new results are available.
DFO warns that it is both illegal and unsafe to harvest shellfish from closed or contaminated areas.
Eating shellfish with high levels of certain toxins can lead to serious and potentially fatal illnesses such as: paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP), domoic acid poisoning (amnesic shellfish poisoning, ASP) and diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP) or vibrio.
It is always advisable to check for marine biotoxin and sanitary contamination closure for the area before harvesting.