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

Spirit North funding annoucement now expected any day

Indigenous Services Canada annouces new timeline for funding annoucement

Kitwanga inches closer to ambulance station goal

This year’s Humpy Run raises close to $20,000.

Anglers furious over VIP fishing trip

DFO, SkeenaWild both investigating legality of FN research licence to fishing party

Kool-Aid Man bails on Terrace and Kitimat mayoral race

Says he has accomplished goal of raising electoral awareness

Terrace Northmen earn third place in rugby provincials

The two-time reigning champs took home the bronze medals this year

64 cats seized from ‘bad situation’ now in BC SPCA care

The surrender is part of an ongoing animal cruelty investigation with BC SPCA Special Constable

B.C. co-op develops tech to help prevent ODs, especially for alone users

Brave Technology has been awarded $200,000 in the Ohio Opioid Technology Challenge

Recent jump in U.S. butter imports? All smooth, says Canadian dairy farmers

U.S. farmers recently enjoyed extra access to the Canadian market

Potential replacements for Phoenix pay system to start testing soon: Brison

Testing of prototypes to replace troubled federal pay system will begin within weeks

Nanaimo’s Tilray Inc. briefly the world’s largest cannabis company

The company, only listed in the US, nearly reached $300 in afternoon trading on Wednesday

Woman who helped kidnap Elizabeth Smart released from prison

Smart was 14 years old when she was snatched from her Salt Lake City home in 2002 by street preacher Brian David Mitchell

New York books editor out after backlash over Jian Ghomeshi essay

Ian Buruma, who was appointed as editor of the New York Review of Books in late 2017, no longer works for the publication

B.C. couple plans sustainable, zero-waste life in the Shuswap

Plan includes building a tiny house before the snow flies

Housing slowdown forecast to cool B.C. economy

Conference Board says pipeline, trade uncertainty affecting investment

Most Read