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Red tide closes shellfish harvest

The State Health Department shut down shellfish harvesting at most Pierce County beaches Thursday because of high levels of paralytic shellfish poison, or “red tide.”

Potentially fatal amounts of the naturally occurring neurotoxin were discovered in shellfish samples collected from Day Island and Penrose Point.

As a result, the Health Department closed Carr Inlet and the eastern shoreline of Pierce County from King County down into Thurston County.

The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department is posting advisory signs at Dash Point County Park, Browns Point Park, Owen Beach, Point Defiance Boathouse, Narrows Park, Titlow Beach, Kopachuck State Park, Purdy Sandspit, Penrose Point State Park, Saltar’s Point and Solo Point warning people not to collect shellfish from these areas.

Recreational shellfish harvesters are advised to call the DOH Biotoxin Hotline at 1-800-562-5632 or access the Biotoxin Website at www.doh.wa.gov/ehp/sf/biotoxin.htm before harvesting shellfish anywhere in Puget Sound.

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