SALEM, Ore. — The salad days are over for crabbers along Oregon's southern coast, at least for the time being. State officials announced on Friday that recreational crabbing has been closed and commercial crabbing restricted due to high biotoxin levels in the shellfish.
"Crab samples taken from the Brookings area indicate that levels of the marine biotoxin domoic acid have risen above the action level," the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) said in a statement.
Recreational crabbing is closed for the time being from Cape Blanco to the California border, while a "Biotoxin Management Zone" has been established for commercial crabbing.
High levels of domoic acid can be harmful to humans, and officials always recommend that crabs be eviscerated "and the guts, or butter, discarded prior to cooking." If not eviscerated, then domoic acid can leach into the cooking liquid. That liquid should also always be discarded, with none of it used for consumption.
"ODA and ODFW will continue to monitor domoic acid in crab from this area in the coming weeks. Two rounds of tests below the action level will be required to reopen the area for unrestricted crabbing," the agency said.
Updated information on closures can always be found on the state website, here.