March 1, 2007
Contact: Jim Zimny
Phone: (360) 337-5623
Kingston Area Closed for Recreational Shellfish Harvesting
biotoxins that cause paralytic shellfish poisoning
(PSP) - also known as 'red tide' - have been detected in shellfish
samples from the Kingston Marina. Samples of mussels collected on
Monday, February 26, 2007, contained toxin concentrations of 123
micrograms. Beaches are closed when the toxin level exceeds 80
As a result, the Health District has closed the Kingston area from Apple
Cove Point south to Point Jefferson. The closure is for all species of
clams, oysters, and mussels. There is an existing PSP closure for Butter
Clams only for the entire eastern side of Kitsap County, including all
public and private beaches, from Point No Point south to the Pierce
County line. This closure includes Miller Bay, Liberty Bay, Dyes Inlet
and Sinclair Inlet. Warning signs have been posted at public beaches
alerting people not to collect shellfish from these areas.
Shrimp and crab are not included in this closure, but crabs should be
cleaned prior to cooking, and the "crab butter" should be discarded.
Shellfish harvested commercially that are available in stores and
restaurants are tested for toxin prior to distribution, and are safe to
Marine biotoxins are not destroyed by cooking or freezing and can be
life-threatening. People can become ill from eating shellfish
contaminated with the naturally occurring marine algae that contains
toxins that are harmful to humans. Symptoms of PSP can appear within
minutes or hours and usually begin with tingling lips and tongue, moving
to the hands and feet, followed by difficulty breathing and potentially
death. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should contact a health care
provider. For extreme reactions, call 911.
In most cases, the algae that contain the toxins cannot be seen and must
be detected using laboratory testing. The Health District will continue
to monitor shellfish at Kitsap County beaches, and notify the public if
the levels of PSP toxin become unsafe in other areas.
For current shellfish closures within Kitsap County, call our hotline
number: 1-800-2BE-WELL or visit us online at www.kitsapcountyhealth.com.
For closures in other areas of Washington, call the Washington State
Department of Health's Red Tide Hotline at 1-800-562-5632, or visit them
online at www.doh.wa.gov/ehp/sf/biotoxin.htm.
This notice supersedes previous PSP notices.