July 14, 2021
For Immediate Release
Jefferson County Community Health
Michael Dawson, Water Quality Manager
360-385-9444 ext. 301
Port Townsend, WA Recent shellfish samples taken from Discovery Bay were found to contain elevated levels of the marine biotoxin that causes Diarrhetic Shellfish Poisoning (DSP). As a result, the Washington State Department of Health has closed Discovery Bay beaches for shellfish harvest for all shellfish species. Danger signs have been posted at public access points warning people not to consume shellfish from this area.
Diarrhetic Shellfish Poisoning (DSP) can cause gastrointestinal illness. Illness is caused by eating shellfish contaminated with toxins from the naturally occurring marine plankton Dinophysis.
Symptoms of DSP include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. The onset of symptoms can range from one-half to four hours after consumption. If mild symptoms occur, call your health care provider and Jefferson County Public Health. For severe reactions call 911. Additional information regarding DSP can be found at www.doh.wa.gov/CommunityandEnvironment/Shellfish/RecreationalShellfish/Illnesses/Biotoxins/DiarrheticShellfishPoisoning.
To find out which areas are safe to harvest shellfish in Washington, check the map at www.doh.wa.gov/ShellfishSafety.htm or call the Biotoxin Hotline at 1-800-562-5632. For the latest information on regulations and seasons, visit the Fish and Wildlife website at wdfw.wa.gov/fishing or call the Shellfish Rule Change Hotline at 1-866-880-5431.
photo credit: WA Department of Ecology
Jefferson County Public Health
Always Working for a Safer and Healthier Community