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Whatcom County beaches closed to recreational shellfish harvesting

Health officials have closed all Whatcom County beaches to recreational shellfish harvesting after tests showed unsafe levels of marine biotoxins.

The closure is for all molluscan shellfish including clams, mussels, oysters and scallops, and all beaches, including at Larrabee State Park and Point Roberts.

The ban was put into place after unsafe levels of the toxin that causes diarrhetic shellfish poisoning were detected in recent sampling in Bellingham Bay.

Meanwhile, paralytic shellfish poisoning biotoxin levels were still elevated in northern Whatcom County, where beaches from Sandy Point north to the Canadian Border, including Point Roberts, have been closed to recreational shellfish harvesting since early April.

Shellfish in stores and restaurants are tested for marine toxins before going to market and are safe to eat.

Kie Relyea

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