Most regions on the North Coast are now closed to bivalve shellfish harvesting with only a few exceptions.
Bivalve shellfish include clams, oysters, scallops and mussels, as well as any other shellfish that have two-hinged shells.
As of Nov. 10, areas around West Digby Island, Chatham Sound, Hunt Inlet and Porcher Island were open to Pacific, pink, spiny and other scallops, the Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) website stated. Otherwise, all areas around Prince Rupert were closed.
Similarly, areas close to Kitimat and Kemano Bay were closed to bivalve shellfish harvesting except two areas around Aristazabal Island which were open to horse and geoduck clams.
The waters around Haida Gwaii, Portland Inlet and the Alaska border, as well as Banks Island were all closed to bivalve shellfish harvesting.
“It is both illegal and unsafe to harvest shellfish from a closed area. Eating contaminated shellfish can make you very sick and can even be life-threatening,” the DFO website states.
The DFO advises the public to check its website and confirm the area they plan to harvest is legally open before they head out every time.
Cooking shellfish does not eliminate all of the toxins and many of them are tasteless and invisible to the eye, the DFO warns.
Kaitlyn Bailey | Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
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