SECOND UPDATE: Warning Issued on Dungeness Crab After Testing Shows Toxin

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As crab season nears, domoic acid raises its ugly head. - C. JUHASZ/CDFW WEBSITE
  • C. Juhasz/CDFW website
  • As crab season nears, domoic acid raises its ugly head.
SECOND UPDATE:
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has “enacted a delay” of the recreational Dungeness crab season for areas stretching from Patrick’s Point to the Oregon border due to “unhealthy levels” of domoic acid.

UPDATE: The California Department of Public health is now warning the public against eating Dungeness crab caught from Patrick’s Point near Trinidad to the Oregon border due to elevated levels of domoic acid.

“Dangerous levels of domoic acid have been detected in the body meat and internal organs of Dungeness crab from this region,” the release states. “Cooking crabs neither decreases nor destroys the toxin.”

The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, or OEHHA, in consultation with CDPH, is now recommending a delay in the opening of the recreational crab season in these areas. The season was slated to begin Nov. 5.

PREVIOUS:

The most recent round of domoic acid testing in Dungeness crab shows a few “hot spots” of elevated test levels, including samplings off Trinidad and George Reef in Del Norte County.

California Department of Public Health results of the six samples taken at those locations between late September and early this month show elevated levels were found in varying degrees. One location in the Bay Area, Bodega Bay, also showed higher domoic acid levels while San Francisco, Half Moon Bay, Monterey and Morro Bay sectors tested clear.

Domoic acid, as most of us will remember, all but destroyed the 2015 season. This year’s recreational season is currently slated to start Nov. 3 with the commercial season opening on Nov. 15.


Read the release from the California Department of Public Health below:
SACRAMENTO - The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is advising recreational anglers not to eat Dungeness crab caught between Patrick’s Point North and the Oregon border. This warning is due to the detection of elevated levels of domoic acid, a naturally occurring toxin.

Dangerous levels of domoic acid have been detected in the body meat and internal organs of Dungeness crab from this region. Cooking crabs neither decreases nor destroys the toxin.

Symptoms of domoic acid poisoning can occur within 30 minutes to 24 hours after eating toxic seafood. In mild cases, symptoms may include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, headache and dizziness. These symptoms disappear within several days. In severe cases, the victim may experience trouble breathing, confusion, cardiovascular instability, seizures, excessive bronchial secretions, permanent loss of short-term memory, coma or death.

CDPH continues to coordinate its efforts with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and the fishing community to collect and test Dungeness crab samples from the impacted areas until domoic acid levels have dissipated.

The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), in consultation with CDPH, has recommended a delay in the opening of the recreational crab season near Patrick’s Point North to the Oregon border.

To receive updated information about shellfish poisoning and quarantines, call CDPH’s toll-free “Shellfish Information Line” at (800) 553-4133. Test results are updated as laboratory results become available and can be viewed on the CDPH Domoic Acid webpage. For additional information visit CDPH’s Domoic Acid webpage.

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