Red tide alert for waters around Nanaimo

Fisheries officials closed areas around Nanaimo for shellfish harvesting due to unacceptable marine biotoxin results Wednesday.

Fisheries officials closed areas around Nanaimo for shellfish harvesting due to unacceptable marine biotoxin results Wednesday.

Some areas south of Nanaimo are closed to harvesting all bivalve shellfish (oysters, clams, scallops, mussels and geoducks). Other areas in and around Nanaimo are closed to harvest of all bivalve shellfish except manila clams, littleneck clams, oysters and mussels; or are open except for harvesting of butter clams and scallops.

A complete list of the closures, as well as a map of the sub-areas around Nanaimo, is available at www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/psp. This information is also available by calling toll-free 1-866-431-3474.

Red Tide (Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning contamination) is caused by microscopic marine organisms that product toxins that can accumulate in bivalve shellfish because these animals filter feed.

Eating shellfish in a red tide zone can result in serious illness or death.

There are also areas closed due to sanitary contamination. This information is also available on the Fisheries and Oceans Canada website.