The Oregon Department of Agriculture and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife have announced the reopening of recreational crabbing and lifting of commercial crabbing restrictions from the north Jetty of Coos Bay to Heceta Head, north of Florence. Dungeness crab viscera samples taken from the area indicate levels of the marine toxin domoic acid have dropped and remain below the alert level. Crab harvesting was closed or restricted in that portion of the central coast last week.
With the reopening and lifting of restrictions, all harvesting of crab is open along the entire Oregon Coast.
ODA and ODFW will continue monitoring marine toxins in crab and shellfish to ensure that the concentrations remain below the alert level.
Despite the recent closure, crab and shellfish products sold in retail markets and restaurants are safe for consumers.
It is recommended that crab always be eviscerated prior to cooking, which includes removal and discard of the internal organs and gills.
For more information, call ODA’s shellfish safety information hotline at (800) 448-2474 or visit the ODA shellfish closures web page at: http://www.oregon.gov/ODA/programs/FoodSafety/Shellfish/Pages/ShellfishClosures.aspx For notices to the commercial crabbing industry visit ODFW commercial crabbing webpage at: http://www.dfw.state.or.us/MRP/shellfish/commercial/crab/news_publications.asp