March 24, 2018

California Issues Warning for Recreational Shellfish Harvesting in Ventura County

The California Department of Public Health  has issued a warning about recreationally harvested shellfish from the Ventura county coastline due to dangerous levels of domoic acid, a naturally occurring toxin that can cause illness or death.  Consumers are advised not to eat recreationally harvested bivalve shellfish (such as mussels, clams or whole scallops or the internal organs of lobster or rock crab. This warning does not apply to commercially harvested shellfish.

Shellfish SelectionDomoic acid is a toxin that can cause Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning (ASP), a potentially fatal illness. Symptoms of poisoning from domoic acid develop between 30 minutes and 24 hours of ingestion and can last several days. They include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, headache, dizziness, and in severe cases, trouble breathing, confusion, disorientation, cardiovascular instability. See a health care provider right away if you have these symptoms as more serious complications can develop.

The annual quarantine on recreationally harvested mussels remains in effect along the entire California coastline. This quarantine applies to all species of mussels harvested along the California coast, including all bays and estuaries.

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