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Toxins stop Oregon’s mussel, clam harvesting

BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: September 22, 2009
PORTLAND, Ore. — The state Department of Agriculture has closed the entire Oregon coast to recreational mussel and clam harvesting because of the risk of toxins that cause paralytic shellfish poisoning.

Agency spokesman Bruce Pokarney said Monday that most of the north and central coast already had been closed to mussel harvesting and the state has banned razor clam harvesting since midsummer for con- servation reasons.

The conservation closure ends Oct. 1, but clamming will remain off-limits until toxin levels subside. The agency will test for toxins weekly, as tides permit.

Pokarney said crab isn’t affected by the level of toxin and is safe to eat.

Shellfish contaminated with

PSP toxins can cause

minor to severe ill-

ness. Symptoms

usually start with

the tingling of the

mouth and tongue.

Severe poisoning can

result in dizziness,

numbness and



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