The Oregon Department of Agriculture and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife announce the closure of all mussel harvesting from Tillamook Head in Clatsop County to the north jetty of Yaquina Bay at Newport on the central Oregon Coast, due to elevated levels of paralytic shellfish toxins. The closure includes mussels found on the beaches, rocks, jetties, and bay entrances in this section of the Oregon Coast.
Coastal scallops are not affected by this closure when only the adductor muscle is eaten. The consumption of recreationally caught whole scallops is not recommended. Crab are not affected by this level of toxin and are safe to eat. All areas on the Oregon Coast north of Tillamook Head and south of Yaquina Bay’s north jetty remain open to all recreational and commercial shellfish harvesting.
Shellfish contaminated with paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs) can cause minor to severe illness or even death. The symptoms usually begin with tingling of the mouth and tongue. Severe poisoning can result in dizziness, numbness and tingling in the arms and legs, paralysis of the arms and legs, and paralysis of the muscles used for breathing.
Cooking will not destroy the shellfish toxins. Shellfish toxins are produced by algae and usually originate in the ocean. ODA will continue to test for shellfish toxins weekly, as tides permit. Reopening of an area requires two consecutive tests in the safe range.