Shellfish harvesting closed along Washington shoreline

BREMERTON, Wash. (AP) — Health officials have closed shellfish harvesting on the eastern shoreline of Kitsap County after testing found high levels of the toxin paralytic shellfish poison.

The Kitsap Sun reports Kitsap Public Health announced Wednesday that samples showed PSP concentrations of 172 micrograms of toxin per 100 grams of shellfish tissues.

Shellfish harvesting is closed when PSP toxin levels meet or exceed 80 micrograms per 100 grams of tissue.

The closure affects recreational shellfish harvesting for all species of clams, oysters and mussels. Shrimp and crab are not included in this closure, but crabs should be cleaned before cooking, and “crab butter” should be discarded.

Shellfish harvested commercially that are available in stores and restaurants are tested and are safe to eat.

PSP can be deadly. Early symptoms of the toxin include tingling of the lips and tongue.