You should avoid harvesting for shellfish on the Sunshine Coast for the next little while.

This comes after elevated and high paralytic shellfish poisoning levels that have been found in the area.

Residents are being asked to avoid consuming any harvest shellfish from Sechelt Inlet, Egmont, Jervis Inlet or around Nelson and Hardy Island.

Department of Fisheries and Oceans Officer on the Sunshine Coast Ben Rahier said this is serious and consuming a couple of clams or oysters can be fatal.

“It’s life or death, potentially, the paralytic shellfish poisoning in high dosage can lead to paralyzing an individuals diaphragm, making that person unable to breathe,” said Rahier.”

Rahier said cooking the shellfish won’t get rid of the toxins.

“Anyone that consumes shellfish that’s that toxic, we’re talking only a matter of a few oysters, a couple clams, could potentially be fatal,” said Rahier.
He expects the inlet will be closed for at least a few weeks.
There are some sanitary closures from Mill Bay to Nanaimo.