Recreational crabbing closed along Oregon coast south of Tillamook Head

(File photo/SBG)

EUGENE, Ore. – Recreational crabbing is closed along most of the Oregon coast, according to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The Oregon Department of Agriculture and ODFW announced Friday recreational and commercial bay crabbing from Tillamook Head to the California border is closed due to elevated levels of domoic acid.

Officials say they found elevated domoic acid levels in the viscera of Dungeness crab collected between Cascade Head and Cape Falcon. This triggered a biotoxin closure.

The closure includes harvesting Dungeness and red rock crab in bays and estuaries, off docks, piers, jetties, and the ocean.

The coastal areas outside of where the domoic acid was found are closed out of precaution while officials process more samples.

The additional sample results could allow ODFW and the Department of Agriculture to reopen some areas and open the ocean crab fisheries, which are scheduled to open December 1.

Crab harvesting from Tillamook Head north to the Columbia River remains open. However, officials recommend the crab be eviscerated prior to cooking.

ODFW says the crab and shellfish products sold in retail markets and restaurants remain safe for consumers.

Domoic acid is also known as amnesic shellfish toxin. It can cause minor to severe illness and even death.

Severe poisoning can result in dizziness, headaches, vomiting and diarrhea. More serious cases can result in memory loss and death.

ODA will continue to test for toxins. They will remove the advisory after two consecutive tests in the safe range.

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