Gulf Islands Driftwood
Voice of the Southern Gulf Islands

Shellfish warning issued

The DFO is reminding shellfish harvesters to check whether fishing areas are open and shellfish are safe to consume before harvesting them and to take extra precautions during warm weather. “When people consume raw or undercooked bivalve molluscan shellfish, especially oysters, they could be susceptible to infection by Vibrio parahaemolyticus (Vp) which is a naturally-occurring pathogen in BC waters,” states a press release issued Thursday. The symptoms of Vibrio parahaemolyticus infection may include watery diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, fever, and headache. Symptoms usually start within 12 to 24 hours and last up to 3 days. The harvesting of oysters, mussels, littleneck clams and manila clams only is currently permitted around the northern part of Salt Spring, from Southey Point to Booth Bay on the western side of the island and to an area just south of Walker Hook on the eastern side. Shellfish harvesting of all other species is closed in those areas, and all bivalve shellfish harvesting is closed for the rest of Salt Spring due to elevated marine biotoxin levels (red tide). Note that shellfish harvesting is closed year-round at Booth Bay, Stonecutter’s Bay, Vesuvius Bay, Duck Bay and Southey Point due to sanitary contamination.

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