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WASHINGTON STATE DEPARTMENTS OF HEALTH, FISHERIES EXTEND RECREATIONAL RAZOR CLAM HARVESTING THROUGH DEC. 31

 OLYMPIA, Wash., Nov. 20 ~PRNewswire~ -- Officials of the Washington State departments of Health and Fisheries today approved recreational harvesting of razor clams through Dec. 31 on the Washington coast only from Ocean Shores north to the Moclips River.
 People may harvest beginning today at noon, but are advised to remove the "gut" when cleaning or processing the clams and before cooking or eating them.
 Levels of domoic acid and paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP), also known as "red tide," have continued to drop below that level considered unsafe in this area, though state health officials noted that low levels of both naturally occurring toxins remain in the edible "meat" of the clams. As expected, tests on the viscera or "gut" have shown higher levels of PSP.
 Sampling and testing of razor clams will continue on a weekly basis. If levels of either toxin rise above that level considered safe, beaches will be closed to clamming.
 Information on the status of other razor clam beaches can be obtained by calling the state health agency's Red Tide Hotline, 800-562-5632.
 Sampling and testing for PSP and domoic acid will continue along other ocean beaches south of Grays Harbor, such as those around Twin Harbors and Long Beach. If those levels continue to drop, harvesting would be allowed in those areas, as well.
 Other shellfish for possible recreational harvest on the coast are not being sampled or tested for PSP or domoic acid. Anyone harvesting mussels or other shellfish on a recreational basis should do so only at their own risk.
 Health officials stressed that any commercially harvested shellfish of any kind sold in restaurants and markets are safe to eat.
 State officials on Oct. 1 postponed the planned Oct. 9 opening of recreational razor clam harvesting season because of record high levels of PSP.
 -0- 11~20~92
 ~CONTACT: Dean R. Owen of Washington State Department of Health, 206-753-3934; or Paula Smith of Washington State Department of Fisheries, 206-902-2252~


CO: Washington State Department of Health; Washington State Department
 of Fisheries ST: Washington IN: SU:


JH-LM -- SE004 -- 3382 11~20~92 12:48 EST
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Date:Nov 20, 1992
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