The Oregon Department of Agriculture and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife announced on Sept 23 the closure of razor clamming and mussel harvesting along the entire Oregon coast, from the Columbia River to the California border. Recent shellfish samples taken from the area indicate levels of the marine biotoxin domoic acid have risen above alert levels.
Coastal scallops are not affected by this closure when only the adductor muscle is eaten. The consumption of whole recreationally harvested scallops is not recommended. Crab, bay clams, and oysters are also not affected by the closure and are safe to eat. Commercial shellfish products remain safe for consumers.
Domoic acid is produced by algae and usually originate in the ocean. ODA will continue to test for shellfish toxins twice per month, 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, the Food Safety Program at 503-986-4720, or visit the ODA shellfish closures Web page at oregon.gov/ODA/programs/FoodSafety/Shellfish/Pages/ShellfishClosures.aspx.