Several area beaches have been added to the long list of state shoreline - now closed to recreational shellfish harvesting, said the Washington State Department of Heath.
It's because of the threat from "paralytic shellfish poisoning". Unsafe levels of the toxin were recently detected in Whatcom County as well as Quartermaster Harbor on Vashon-Maury Island.
State health warns that no clams, mussels, scallops, oysters and cockles can be harvested at those locations. People harvesting crab are being told to only eat the meat from the crab. Do not use the "crab butter" or entrails. Health department officials warn everyone that the toxin that causes paralytic shellfish poisoning cannot be eliminated by cooking or freezing.
There are many other state beaches closed to shellfish harvesting. For a list of closed beaches and maps of the affected areas, click on this link to the State Department of Health.