Oregon Dungeness crab fishery reopens after domoic acid scare

Published on
February 13, 2017

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has declared all Oregon crab meat safe to eat, to the relief of the state’s crab fishery, which was closed last week after tests showed the presence of toxic domoic acid in one crab.

According to a 10 February announcement, the state rescinded the order to close the commercial crab fishery from Coos Bay to Heceta Head. That order had been given on 2 February following the discovery of domoic acid in one crab, but the state said two consecutive biotoxin tests had showed that all crab samples below the threshold of what’s considered dangerous for human consumption.

The announcement proved good timing for the town of Charleston, Oregon, which celebrated its annual Charleston Crab Feed on Saturday, 11 February.

According to the Charleston World, the “Crack Up" Crab Feed features fresh, local Oregon Dungeness crab from Charleston and is a major fundraiser for the town.

The article said Oregon state agencies notified the commercial industry Wednesday, 8 February that tests for domoic acid in Dungeness crab locally cleared its safety threshold and that local Dungeness crab meat “is perfectly fine for consumption.”

Oregon crabbers have landed 13.1 million pounds of crab so far this year, according to the newspaper, as fishermen and processors work most of the days to catch and process Dungeness crab.

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