SALEM, Ore.—Oregon Department of Agriculture and ODFW announce the immediate closure of recreational and commercial crabbing from Cape Blanco to the California border due to elevated levels of domoic acid.
Crab harvesting from Cape Blanco to the Columbia River remains open in bays and estuaries, and from beaches, docks, piers, and jetties only. (The recreational crabbing season in the ocean closed coastwide on Oct. 15.)
Despite the closure, crab and shellfish products sold in retail markets and restaurants remain safe for consumers.
Domoic acid or amnesic shellfish toxin can cause minor to severe illness and even death. Severe poisoning can result in dizziness, headaches, vomiting and diarrhea. More severe cases can result in memory loss and death. Shellfish toxins are produced by algae and originate in the ocean. Toxins cannot be removed by cooking, freezing or any other treatment. It is always recommended not to consume the viscera or guts of crab. ODA will continue to test for toxins in the coming weeks. Removal of the advisory requires two consecutive tests in the safe range.
For more information and the latest information on closures due to toxins, call ODA’s shellfish safety information hotline at (800) 448-2474 or visit the ODA shellfish closures webpage (http://www.oregon.gov/ODA/programs/FoodSafety/Shellfish/Pages/ShellfishClosures.aspx) or ODFW’s Clamming and Crabbing Report (https://myodfw.com/recreation-report/crabbing-clamming-report/marine-zone).