Shellfish Quarantine in Tomales Bay NOW

CDPH Warns Consumers Not to Eat Sport-Harvested Bivalve Shellfish from Monterey Bay and Inner Tomales Bay 
Date: 12/13/2013 
Number: 13-058 
Contact: Anita Gore, Heather Bourbeau (916) 440-7259 

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is advising consumers not to eat recreationally harvested mussels, clams or whole scallops from Monterey Bay or inner Tomales Bay in Marin County. The latter includes the area between Millerton Point and Cypress Point. Dangerous levels of paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxins have been detected in mussels from these regions. The naturally occurring PSP toxins can cause illness or death. Cooking does not destroy the toxin.

This warning is in addition to the annual mussel quarantine that was extended on October 31, 2013, for northern Humboldt County. That quarantine remains in effect and applies to the region between the Del Norte-Humboldt county line and the northern jetty at the entrance to Humboldt Bay. Humboldt Bay is not included in the quarantine extension.

This warning does not apply to commercially sold clams, mussels, scallops or oysters from approved sources. State law permits only state-certified commercial shellfish harvesters or dealers to sell these products. Shellfish sold by certified harvesters and dealers are subject to frequent mandatory testing to monitor for toxins. 

PSP toxins affect the central nervous system, producing a tingling around the mouth and fingertips within a few minutes to a few hours after eating toxic shellfish. These symptoms are typically followed by loss of balance, lack of muscular coordination, slurred speech and difficulty swallowing. In severe poisonings, complete muscular paralysis and death from asphyxiation can occur. 

To receive updated information about shellfish poisoning and quarantines, call CDPH’s toll-free “Shellfish Information Line” at (800) 553-4133. For additional information, please visit the CDPH Marine Biotoxins-Mussels Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Web page.

Thanks to Brent & Renée for the warning. I was planning to go clamming in Tomales Bay Monday. Whew!

2 Responses to Shellfish Quarantine in Tomales Bay NOW

  1. Thanks for passing this along so I could pass it along to family in the area.

  2. Now I was expecting you to say they are radioactive from Fukushima.

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