Rare warning issued over rock scallops

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans is reminding the public to watch closely for closures of rock scallops

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans is reminding the public to watch closely for closures of rock scallops after a rare finding of paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) was discovered in the species.

“Just because they are on the beach doesn’t mean they are safe to eat,” explained Steven Groves the Section head for invertebrate for the North Coast Department of Oceans and Fisheries.

The DFO was forced to shutdown the harvest mid-November when a rare weather anomaly washed an abundance of rock scallops ashore, and which tested positive for PSP. Mr. Groves told the Observer, the scallops are not one of the species regularly affected by PSP, unlike species such as butter clams, which are known to hold the toxin for up to two years, and which face regular harvest closures.

“The rock scallops are not one of the species we [normally] worry about,” Mr. Groves said.

The weather event that causes the scallops to wash ashore is also very rare. A November wash-up that tested positive for PSP was followed by another in December, but the toxin levels had dissipated. As of Dec. 31 the DFO called off the closure of rock scallops on North Beach, but is urging the public to check it’s website for closures before consuming them.

PSP can be fatal in extreme cases, particularly in immunocompromised individuals and children.

Symptoms can appear in as little as 30 minutes after ingestion and include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, tingling or burning of the lips, gums, tongue, face, neck, arms, legs and toes. The DFO takes closures seriously and may fine anyone caught harvesting during a closure.

Cooking the shellfish has no effect on PSP and the toxin cannot be identified by sight or smell.

“It is best for harvesters to check the website the day of going to the beach, for closures,” Mr Goves said, adding that PSP levels can change quickly. If there is an active closure the DFO will put up notices by the entrance to North Beach, but it is highly recommended to check the DFO website beforehand.

 

 

Just Posted

Painting her way home

Janine Gibbons talks about all she learned illustrating Haida and Tlingit story books

Haida Gwaii gets top spot in The World

It was already a nice Christmas present, but Keith Moore was really… Continue reading

McNeill fined again for illegal fishing

A local man with a long history of poaching has been convicted… Continue reading

Old Massett taps grassroots for community plan

Over coffee, kitchen tables, and community dinners, Old Massett is taking a… Continue reading

Subsea internet cable to link up Haida Gwaii

Cable to connect Haida Gwaii, Prince Rupert, Vancouver Island, Sunshine Coast with mainland network

Testing the Google Arts & Culture app

Going face to face with art

Cause of Northern B.C. seaplane crash released

TSB releases report on seaplane crash during a water landing in 2016 near First Nations community

Vancouver police crack down on pop-up pot vendors

Officers raided merchants’ tables on Robson Square late Sunday

Bell Media, NFL take appeal over Super Bowl ad rules to top court

At issue is a ban on substituting American ads with Canadian ones during the game’s broadcast

Crown seeks 4.5 years jail for B.C. woman convicted of counselling tax evasion

Debbie Anderson the latest from group to face jail for teaching debunked ‘natural person’ theory

Brother of B.C. teen killed by stray bullet says the death left a void

Alfred Wong, 15, was gunned down in Vancouver while on his way home from dinner with his family

Movie filmed in Castlegar B.C. opens Friday

Hollow in the Land starring Dianna Agron will be playing in select cinemas.

Cougar window shops at Banff grocery store

An RCMP officer spots a cougar outside an Alberta grocery store

Police fear fewer fentanyl imports don’t signal the end of the overdose crisis

RCMP say it’s just as likely that criminal are getting more clever

Most Read