Shellfish harvesting has been closed along the eastern shoreline of Bainbridge Island.
Kitsap County health officials said recent tests show high levels of marine biotoxin diarrhetic shellfish poison.
The closure area stretches from Point Monroe south to Restoration Point. Existing shellfish closures also remain in effect, officials said.
The ban includes all recreational shellfish harvesting for all species of clams, oysters and mussels.
Shrimp and crab are not included in the closure, but crabs should be cleaned prior to cooking, and the “crab butter” should be discarded. Shellfish harvested commercially that are available in stores and restaurants are tested for toxins prior to distribution, and are safe to eat, officials said.
Anyone planning to harvest or consume local, recreationally-harvested shellfish should check the safety status of shellfish harvesting; the
Kitsap Public Health Shellfish Hotline is 1-800-2BE-WELL (1-800-223-9355), and the statewide shellfish safety hotline is 1-800-562-5632.
The Kitsap Public Health District, in partnership with the Washington State Department of Health and Clean Water Kitsap, test shellfish from a dozen locations throughout Kitsap County.
Samples for the new closure were collected on May 21 and results showed concentrations of 21 micrograms of toxin per 100 grams of shellfish tissue. Shellfish harvesting is closed when DSP toxin levels meet or exceed 16 micrograms per 100 grams of tissue, officials said.
Warning signs have been posted at public beaches alerting people not to collect shellfish from the closure areas.