SALEM, Ore. — A recent ban on crabbing that affected most of the Southern Oregon coastline has been lifted, according to a statement from the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA).
Recreational crabbing is now open again between Cape Blanco and the California border, and restrictions have been lifted from commercial crabbing in the same area.
"Crab samples taken from the Brookings area indicate levels of the marine biotoxin domoic acid have fallen below the closure limit for two consecutive rounds of tests," ODA said.
This lift on restrictions means that crabbing is now open along the entire Oregon coast, the agency announced.
It is still recommended that all crabs be "eviscerated" before cooking, with the guts (or butter) removed first.
"When whole crab are cooked in liquid, domoic acid may leach into the cooking liquid. It is recommended to discard the cooking liquid, and do not use it in other dishes, such as sauces, broths, soups, roux, etc. The consumption of crab viscera is not recommended," ODA said.
Domoic acid, the biotoxin commonly found in shellfish, can cause "minor to severe illness and even death" in humans. Severe cases of poisoning can cause dizziness, headaches, vomiting and diarrhea. The worst cases can cause memory loss or death.
"Shellfish toxins are produced by microscopic algae and originate in the ocean," the agency said. "Toxins cannot be removed by cooking, freezing or any other treatment. ODA will continue to test for toxins in the coming weeks. Re-opening requires two consecutive tests below the limit."