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Domoic acid shuts down crabbing in southern Oregon

A familiar reality on the West Coast
By Katie Frankowicz

The Daily Astorian

Published on October 24, 2017 8:23AM


Elevated levels of a marine toxin shut down recreational and commercial crabbing off of Oregon’s southern coast Monday.

The closure runs from the Coquille River’s north jetty, and the bay in Bandon, to the California border. It is an extension of a closure announced last week that shut down crabbing from Cape Blanco to the California border due to high levels of the naturally-occurring marine toxin domoic acid.

The rest of the state, from the Bandon area north to the Columbia River, remains open for crab harvesting in bays and estuaries, and on beaches, docks, piers and jetties. The recreational crabbing season in the ocean closed on the coast on Oct. 15.

Fishery managers say crab and shellfish products for sale in markets and at restaurants are safe for consumers.

Razor clamming remains open from the Columbia River to Cascade Head, just north of Lincoln City, but is closed from Cascade Head south to the California border due to high domoic acid levels. Razor clam digging opened for the first time in more than a year in Oregon at the end of September. Washington state continues to have limited digs scheduled throughout the fall months. The next digging times on the Long Beach Peninsula are scheduled for the evenings of Nov. 3 and Nov. 4.

Domoic acid has become a familiar reality on the West Coast in recent years, disrupting both crabbing and razor clam digs at various times in Washington state, Oregon and California. In 2015, a massive toxic algal bloom shut shellfish fisheries in all three states, and Washington halted its Dungeness crab fishery.



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