Harvests of all bivalves, including razor clams (pictured), are off limits in most areas of B.C.’s North Coast due to a sudden rise in biotoxins. (File photo)

Harvests of all bivalves, including razor clams (pictured), are off limits in most areas of B.C.’s North Coast due to a sudden rise in biotoxins. (File photo)

Marine biotoxins force closure of North Coast shellfish harvesting

Blooms on the rise during winter months

Fisheries and Oceans Canada has shut down nearly all bivalve shellfish harvesting on the North Coast due to a rapid rise in marine biotoxins.

Haida Gwaii, including the Skidegate and Masset Inlets, and all other popular harvest areas near Prince Rupert, Bella Coola and Kitimat are affected.

Causes of the closures vary between paralytic shellfish poisoning (red tide), domoic acid poisoning, diarrhetic shellfish poisoning and other marine toxins affecting oysters, clams, scallops, mussels and geoduck.

In the past four years, DFO warns, there have been significant increases of biotoxin blooms around the province during the winter months.

READ MORE: Three people from Prince Rupert area recovering from shellfish poisoning

“It’s just not uncommon anymore,” a DFO spokesperson said. “And that’s the message we’re really trying to tell everyone — really, really make sure you check the DFO website before you harvest. Don’t go with the old-wives’ tale that the months ending in ‘r’ are safe for harvesting.”

As of 1 p.m. on Oct. 15 the very few openings in northern subareas include Haida Gwaii’s North Shore for butter and razor clam harvests, and extremely specific areas for various scallop species around Digby Island near Prince Rupert. There are seven openings around Kitimat but none near Bella Coola.

See the DFO notice for details and maps.



quinn.bender@blackpress.ca

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

Just Posted

More than $10,000 in donations and toys was presented to the Salvation Army by the Prince Rupert Harley riders on Oct. 20, from the 39th annual Toy Ride held on Sept 26. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Harley Riders rode to victory with $10,000 donation to Salvation Army

The 39th annual Prince Rupert Harley Riders gifted more than 280 toys from the annual Toy Ride

The Prince Rupert Port Authority Land Use Plan will guide the growth within lands and waters under its jurisdiction and facilitate Canada’s trade with the world for the next 20 years. (Photo: Supplied by Port of Prince Rupert)
Land Use Plan finalized by Port Authority

PRPA Land Use Plan plan guides the growth and trade for next 20 years within its lands and waters

Such sweetness with all this candy. Dylan Kennedy 7, with his mom Kerri Kennedy volunteer at the Halloween Fest Committee event to bag candy for students in SD 52 on Oct. 19. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
How sweet it is

Bags of candy were assembled by more than 25 Halloween Fest Volunteers for distribution to S.D. 52

Ashley Wilson officer in charge of Prince Rupert Marine Communications and Traffic Services said radio officers in Prince Rupert are the eyes and ears of the Canadian Coast Guard with the job as an ocean first responder being like a 911 dispatcher. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Coast Guard calling for radio officers

Deadline for radio officers applications extended specifically for Prince Rupert and area residents

FILE - Nathan Cullen speaks to media in Smithers, B.C., Friday, February 28, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
More calls come in for Cullen’s removal as NDP candidate

Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs demand Cullen’s removal. Ellis says, There’s no place in B.C. for racism

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry presents modelling of COVID-19 spread in B.C., March 25, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 203 new cases

up to 1,766 active cases in B.C., two more deaths

More and more electric cars are on the road, but one Chevy Bolt owner was shocked to see how much his BC Hydro bill skyrocketed once he started charging the vehicle. (Black Press file photo)
Lower Mainland man sees significant spike in BC Hydro bill after purchasing electrical vehicle

An increase should be expected, but Brian Chwiendacz experienced a 200-plus per cent hike

The Anonymous YVR is an Instagram page that reviews restaurants and other establishments around B.C. based on how well they adhere to COVID-19 rules. (Instagram)
Anonymous Instagram page reviews COVID-19 safety measures at B.C. businesses

There are a number of public health orders various types of establishments must follow to slow virus’s spread

Jordan Naterer, an electrical engineer from Vancouver, was last seen Saturday Oct. 10. (Facebook photo)
Search efforts to resume for missing Manning Park hiker; Trudeau speaks on case

PM says he’ll do what he can to ‘nudge’ efforts to find Jordan Naterer, yet has little leverage locally

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Smartphone showing various applications to social media services and Google. (Pixabay photo)
National media calling for level playing field with Google, Facebook

In Canada, Google and Facebook control 80 per cent of all online advertising revenues

École de L’Anse-au-sable. (Google Maps)
B.C. records first COVID-19 outbreak at school, six weeks after students return to class

Three cases of the virus have been identified at École de L’Anse-au-sable

Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau is seen as she leaves media event during a campaign stop in West Vancouver, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green leader hopes voters see value in minority government

The Greens received nearly 17 per cent of the popular vote in 2017 yet received just three seats

Most Read