Red tide warning issued

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) closed large portions of the Strait of Georgia last week to the harvest of bivalve molluscs

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) closed large portions of the Strait of Georgia last week to the harvest of bivalve molluscs (clams, oysters, mussels, scallops) due to paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) contamination, also known as “red tide”.

“Monitoring shows unusually high levels of toxins and this warning should be taken very seriously,” says a DFO release.

Testing is done by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency through the Canadian Shellfish Sanitation Program.

PSP is a marine toxin that affects filter-feeding shellfish including clams, mussels, oysters and scallops. It can also be found in the hepatopancreas of crabs. Cooking will not make these shellfish safe to eat.

Those affected by PSP usually experience tingling or numbness around lips five to 30 minutes after ingestion.

Other symptoms include headache dizziness, and neck stiffness, weakness, rapid pulse and some breathing difficulty (gastrointestinal symptoms are less common).

At the first sign of PSP symptoms, contact your Poison Control Centre at 1-800-567-8911 for first aid advice, and seek medical attention immediately.

“Always check for the latest information on PSP and other marine toxin, sewage and conservation closures prior to harvesting shellfish by contacting the DFO office nearest to the site of harvest or checking online,” the DFO release says.

Field office contact numbers can be found at www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/locations-bureaux-eng.html.  PSP and sanitary closures are listed at www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fm-gp/contamination/biotox/index-eng.html

In BC, all commercially harvested bivalve shellfish must be processed and inspected in a federally registered plant to assure quality control and safety. Do not purchase shellfish from illegal sources.

Shellfish harvested from open areas, or purchased from restaurants or other licenced vendors, remain safe to eat.

 

Visit www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fm-gp/contamination/psp-eng.html for further information on the causes and symptoms of PSP, and how to avoid it.

 

 

Just Posted

North Cowichan appeals new permit for expansion at Chemainus composting facility

Province allows composting facility to expand processing

Editorial: Low water levels on Vancouver Island worrying

This is the time of year when our lakes are usually filled to capacity and beyond

Meet the Ladysmith ambassador candidates

Seven enrolled in this year’s leadership program

Trudeau calls May 6 byelection for B.C. riding of Nanaimo-Ladysmith

The riding opened up when Sheila Malcolmson resigned in January

Dump truck driver hurt after highway crash in Ladysmith

One man airlifted to hospital after collision between dump truck and pickup truck Friday

Sparks fly as SUV speeds down wrong side of Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

B.C. VIEWS: The hijacking of our education system gathers speed

Children taught to strike and shout fringe far-left demands

Judges on Twitter? Ethical guidance for those on the bench under review

Canadian judges involvement in community life are among issues under review

Calgary captain has 3 points as Flames torch Canucks 3-1

Giordano leads way as Alberta side cracks 100-point plateau

Fire crews battle large blaze at Courtenay hostel

Courtenay Fire Chief Don Bardonnex said nobody was injured

1,300 cruise ship passengers rescued by helicopter amid storm off Norway’s coast

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances

B.C. university to offer first graduate program on mindfulness in Canada

University of the Fraser Valley says the mostly-online program focuses on self-care and well being

Province announces $18.6 million for B.C. Search and Rescue

The funding, spread over three years, to pay for operations, equipment, and training

Late-season wave of the flu makes its round in B.C.

BC Centre for Disease Control reported 50 per cent jump in flu cases in first weeks of March

Most Read