A map by DFO shows the shellfish harvesting closures in red, as of July 10, 2018. (Fisheries and Oceans Canada)

DFO announces shellfish harvesting closure off northern B.C.

Areas 2 and 24 cannot be harvested for geoduck or horse clams as of July 10

Geoducks and horse clams off Haida Gwaii and Tofino are now on DFO’s no-harvest list.

DFO announced its latest harvesting closure on July 10, which includes Area 2 and 24. On Haida Gwaii, North Beach remains open for razor-clam harvesting.

People who eat contaminated geoduck could get paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP), which in extreme cases can be deadly.

“One result was because the sample came back above acceptable standards,” said DFO’s Elysha Gordon, the Canadian Shellfish Sanitation Program Coordinator. “I will open and close an area based on test results, whether the area is clean and free of toxic algae or not.”

PSP can paralyze the respiratory system. Gordon said four people were recently hospitalized in Saanich for showing symptoms of PSP.

READ MORE: Sweeping salmon closures for recreational fishing

“Your body knows what’s going on, your brain knows what’s going on but you’re paralyzed including your breathing,” Gordon said. “They have to breathe for you until the toxin wears off. It can be quite scary.

“It’s not something you can cook and destroy,” she added.

The other areas affected by the July 10 closure were because samples had not been sent to be tested. Without proof that no contaminants are present, an area is automatically closed.

Much of the North Coast is always closed to bivalve shellfish harvesting, which includes geoduck, clams, oysters, scallops and mussels. Except for an area between Digby Island and the Lucy Islands off the coast of Prince Rupert, where only scallops can be harvested, Area 4 is also closed to shellfish harvesting. There is a full closure for shellfish harvesting from Areas 5 to 10, which stretch from Banks Island to Herbert Point.

Gordon recommends looking at the DFO for up-to-date closures, and added that it is illegal to harvest in a closed area.

“Check before you dig,” she said.

READ MORE: Cullen demands better leadership on salmon crisis



keili.bartlett@thenorthernview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

DFOFisheries and Oceans Canada

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

A geoduck harvesting closure was announced for Area 2 and 24 by DFO on July 10. (Andy Hobbs /The Olympian via AP)

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Heart of Our City: Ron Nyce

Teaching, dancing and encouraging culture create the heartbeat of this drummer

Breast cancer screening available in Prince Rupert – ten days only

Mobile imaging suite will be in Prince Rupert from July 6 to 16

RCSCC 7 – Captain Cook is searching for new C.O.

Officer position will be vacant with CIC sailing away to different shores.

Police investigate July 2 homicide in Houston

Man succumbed to injuries at Pearson Road residence

Solidarity movement displayed in city

Prince Rupert locals demonstrated against

B.C. records 31 new cases, six deaths over three days due to COVID-19

There are 166 active cases in B.C., 16 people in hospital

96-year-old woman scales B.C. butte with help of family, friends

‘I did as I was told and I enjoyed every minute of it’

Parallel crises: How COVID-19 exacerbated B.C.’s drug overdose emergency

Part 1: Officials say isolation, toxic drug supply, CERB, contributing to crisis

Canadians with disabilities disproportionately hit by COVID-19 pandemic

More than four out of 10 British Columbians aged 70 and up have various disabilities

Camping offers a great pandemic escape, for less money than you might think

But for many first-timers, knowing what to bring can be a challenge

Turbulence in Canadian opinion on airlines COVID-19 response: poll

Thousands of people have beseeched Transport Minister Marc Garneau to compel airlines to issue refunds,

Police issue warning after baby comes across suspected drugs in Kamloops park

The 11-month-old girl’s mother posted photos on social media showing a small plastic bag containing a purple substance

Most Read