COOS BAY, Ore. (AP) — Oregon fish and agriculture officials say they've closed recreational mussel harvesting on the south Oregon coast because of elevated levels of marine toxins.
The closure announced Thursday extends from Cape Arago in Coos County to the California border. The problem is elevated levels of paralytic shellfish toxins. The closure includes mussels found on the beaches, rocks, jetties and bay entrances.
Officials say recreational mussel harvesting remains open north of Cape Arago.
All other recreational shellfish harvesting is open for the entire Oregon coast.
Shellfish contaminated with paralytic shellfish toxins can cause minor to severe illness or even death. Cooking will not destroy the toxins, which are produced by algae and typically originate in the ocean.
This is the second time that the Oregon Agriculture Department closed mussel harvesting this season.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.