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Biotoxin closes shellfish harvesting

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Biotoxin closes shellfish harvesting

KGMI News Reporting
By Karen Taylor

WHATCOM COUNTY, Wash. – Recreational shellfish harvesting is now off limits at beaches in southern Whatcom County.

The state Health Department has found unsafe levels of a biotoxin called paralytic shellfish poisoning or PSP.

Tom Kunesh with the Whatcom County Health Department says PSP can be found in clams, mussels, oysters and scallops.

Play Tom Kunesh on PSP

Symptoms of PSP can progress from numbness in the lips, tongue, fingers and toes, to difficulty breathing.

The closure runs from Sandy Point south to the Whatcom/Skagit County border and includes all of Lummi Island and all of Larabee State Park.

Kunesh says people should call the biotoxin hotline at 1-800-5-6-2-56-32 before harvesting shellfish.

People can also check for beach closures on the Department of Health’s website: www.doh.wa.gov/ehp/sf/biotoxin.htm.