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South Whidbey beaches reopen for shellfish harvesting

Island County officials have announced that South Whidbey beaches have been reopened for shellfish harvesting.

Roger Case, health officer for Island County, and the Washington State Department of Health have cleared South Whidbey shorelines, from Admiralty Head on the west side of the island around to Sandy Point on the east side, to the recreational harvest of shellfish.

Recent samples from these areas indicate safe toxin levels. Beaches from Admiralty Head south to Possession Point on the southwest side of Whidbey Island were closed in July.

Beaches from Sandy Point to Possession Point on the southeast side of Whidbey Island were closed to shellfish harvesting in September.

“The closures were brought about by the results of routine testing of shellfish for paralytic shellfish poison,” according to a Thursday press release. “PSP levels exceeded 80 micrograms of toxin per 100 grams of shellfish meat, which is the maximum allowable limit for safe harvest.”

Current sample levels are less than 38 micrograms to undetectable. Island County Public Health will continue to monitor beaches with random sampling, the release said.

For further information, call Kathleen Parvin at 360-678-7914 or 321-5111 ext 7914.

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