Red tide closures

Published on Thu, Oct 17, 2002
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Red tide closures

Whatcom County health authorities have closed all beaches in the county to shellfish harvesting after the state department of health found high levels of red tide toxin in local bivalves. Mussel samples taken from Squalicum Harbor had toxin levels 18 times higher than what is considered a safe level.
Clams, mussels, scallops and oysters eat the plankton associated with red tide, Alexandria cantenalla, which does not always turn waters red. The shellfish accumulate the toxins and those who eat them can suffer from paralytic shellfish poisoning, which can lead to paralysis and death.

Changes in the red tide warnings are available by calling the state’s hotline at 800/562-5632.
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