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Razor Clamming Closed on Part of South Oregon Coast

Published 11/25/21 at 4:52 PM PST
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Razor Clamming Closed on Part of South Oregon Coast

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(Port Orford, Oregon) - The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) announced this week that razor clamming on the bottom quarter of the Oregon coast is closed due to biotoxin levels found in the meat that are considered unsafe. The closure is from Cape Blanco down to the California border. (Photo courtesy Seaside Aquarium)

Recent testing of razor clams in that region indicate the marine biotoxin domoic acid is three times the closure limit in this part of the southern Oregon coast.

However, harvesting of razor clams remains open from Cape Blanco northward, all the way up to the Columbia River. The region between Seaside and the Columbia has the highest population density of razor clams on the Oregon coastline.

Meanwhile, all other types of clamming are open along the entire Oregon coast. Harvesting of bay clams, mussels, and crabbing is not affected by the biotoxins. Coastal scallops are not affected – except for the abductor muscles. ODFW said to not eat those when there is a closure, and both agencies say you should not eat whole scallops in general.

Commercial seafood products sold in stores or restaurants are also not affected and remain perfectly safe, ODFW said.

Domoic acid and paralytic shellfish toxin are produced by algae and originates in the ocean. It is a naturally-occurring effect of certain kinds of algae blooms, which happen under various ocean conditions. ODA continues to test for shellfish toxins twice per month, as tides and weather permit. Reopening an area closed for marine biotoxins requires two consecutive tests with results below the closure limit.

For more information call ODA's shellfish biotoxin safety hotline at (800) 448-2474, the Food Safety Division at (503) 986-4720, or visit the ODA Shellfish Biotoxin Closures webpage.

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