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Eastern shoreline closed to harvesting all shellfish

The Washington State Department of Health and the Kitsap County Health District closed the entire eastern shoreline of Kitsap County to shellfish harvesting effective Sept. 6. The closure runs from Point No Point to South Beach Road on Bainbridge Island and includes all species of clams, oysters and mussels. The closure is due to high levels of the marine biotoxins causing Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning, also known as red tide, officials said.

The Kingston marina was tested Sept. 4, and revealed toxic concentrations of 81 micrograms of the biotoxin for every 100 grams of shellfish tissue, officials said. It is standard practice to close beaches when levels reach 80 micrograms.

The WSDH and Health District also revised the closure for Butter Clams in which the eastern side of Kitsap County from Agate Passage south to Sinclair Inlet is closed for Butter Clams only. Officials said this includes Liberty Bay.

All of Hood Canal south of the Hood Canal Bridge remains closed to harvesting all species of shellfish due to high levels of Vibrio. Shrimp and crab are not included in this closure, but should be cleaned, the “crab butter” discarded, and cooked before consumption.

PSP cannot be destroyed by cooking or freezing, and can cause illness and death, officials said. Residents should adhere to all closures. For more information, call (800) 2BE-WELL, (800) 562-5632, or visit www.kitsapcountyhealthcom.

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