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

Fires still burning near Telegraph Creek

BC Wildfire Service assures residents of a proactive plan heading into wildfire season

Northwest B.C. leaders divided over oil tanker ban

Senate hearings in Prince Rupert and Terrace show Bill C-48 is at a crossroads

Northwest entrepreneurs pitch their plans for cash prizes

ThriveNorth announces 12 finalists in this year’s business challenge

Gas prices spike in northern B.C. ahead of the long weekend

Fuel went up 17 cents overnight in Prince Rupert

Cyclist braking stigma on addiction from coast to coast

Mathew Fee aims at world record for longest distance on BMX bike while sharing his story of recovery

VIDEO: Alberta man creates world’s biggest caricature

Dean Foster is trying to break the world record for a radio show contest

B.C. RCMP receive application for Police Cat Services

RCMP announced the launch of the Police Cat Services unit as an April fools joke

Kirkland Signature veggie burgers recalled due to possible metal fragments

Recalled products came in 1.7 kg packages with a best before date of Apr. 23, 2019

Chaos at the ferry terminal for people heading from Vancouver to the Island

Easter crowds create backlog at Tsawwassen ferry terminal

Parents of 13 who tortured children get life after hearing victims

One of their daughters fled their home and pleaded for help to a 911 operator

Flooding, climate change force Quebecers to rethink relationship with water

Compensation for victims of recurring floods limit to 50% of a home’s value, or a maximum of $100,000

Storms blast South, where tornadoes threaten several states

9.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia at a moderate risk of severe weather

Private cargo ship brings Easter feast to the space station

There are three Americans two Russians and one Canadian living on the space station

Notre Dame rector: “Computer glitch” possible fire culprit

The fire burned through the lattice of oak beams supporting the monument’s vaulted stone ceiling

Most Read