Marine toxins shut down Oregon mussel harvest

Exotic mussels attached to a dock float that washed up on Agate Beach Tuesday near Newport, Ore., June 7, 2012 (AP Photo/Oregon Parks and Recreation Department)
Exotic mussels attached to a dock float that washed up on Agate Beach Tuesday near Newport, Ore., June 7, 2012 (AP Photo/Oregon Parks and Recreation Department)

SALEM, Ore. (AP) – Oregon officials say the north Oregon coast has been closed to recreational mussel harvesting due to high levels of marine toxins.

The closure announced Friday extends from the south jetty of the Columbia River south to the north jetty in Newport.

It’s due to elevated levels of paralytic shellfish poisoning toxins and includes mussels on all beaches, rocks, jetties, and at the entrance to coastal bays.

Crab are not affected.

Shellfish contaminated with the toxins can cause severe illness or even death. The toxins are produced by algae.

The state Agriculture Department will continue to test for shellfish toxins weekly.

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