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

 

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

Just Posted

Kitsumkalum Walk for Health raises $17,500 for new hospital microscope

The 5 km walk is a new take on a 10-year old fundraiser for Mills Memorial

PHOTO GALLERY: Malicous Monster Truck Tour

The Malicious Monster Truck Tour sold out to crowds of 2,500 people… Continue reading

CMTN First Nations Fine Arts program offers new advanced diploma

The 10-month program will focus on enhancing jewellery, sculpture and marketing skills

Terrace spawns new salmon art festival

This week’s featured artist: Casey Braam

Back in business: former Sears franchisees go it alone

Boota and Diljit Uppal’s new store opens in same location

VIDEO: Trudeau shuffles familiar faces, adds new ones to expanded cabinet

Justin Trudeau shuffles his front bench Wednesday to install the roster of ministers that will be entrusted with leading the Liberal team into next year’s election.

Grizzly bear jumps in river, chases B.C. kayaker

The bear got a bit too close for comfort along the Elaho River near Squamish

Evacuation alert issued due to Dog Creek Trail Wildfire

An evacuation alert has been issued by the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako… Continue reading

Parks Canada looks to shine light on cloudy future for historic sites

A plan is in place to produce 10-year plans designed to turn around sagging attendance figures

B.C. poet shines a bright light on struggle with homelessness

Book launch for John La Greca’s Homeless Memorial is at Vernon’s Gallery Vertigo July 21.

Ontario police say attack on Muslim man was motivated by hate

Two men, aged 27 and 19, have been charged with assault in the incident

Canadian Tire delivers toys to ease kids’ street play pain in B.C. neighbourhood

It’s like Christmas for 11 kids who are supposed to be confined to their yards by strata bylaw

City orders largest Kinder Morgan protest camp to leave

Residents of Camp Cloud near the Trans Mountain work site have 72 hours to leave

Cougar shot near B.C. marina

Police were called to complaints of a cougar climbing through boats and sheds at the Nanaimo Yacht Club

Most Read