CDPH Lifts Warning about Shellfish from Santa Barbara County
Date: August 1, 2023
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has lifted the shellfish safety notification today related to related to sport-harvested mussels, scallops, and clams in Santa Barbara County. The safety notification was issued due to dangerous levels of naturally occurring domoic acid, also referred to as Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning, that can cause illness or death in humans. Recent testing shows domoic acid has decreased to safe or undetectable levels for bivalve shellfish in this area.
This notification does not change the annual mussel quarantine, which still remains in effect. The annual quarantine prohibits the sport-harvest of mussels for human consumption and applies to all species of mussels harvested along the California coast, as well as all bays and estuaries, and will continue through at least October 31.
This warning does not apply to commercially sold clams, mussels, scallops, or oysters from approved sources. State law permits only state-certified commercial shellfish harvesters or dealers to sell these products. Shellfish sold by certified harvesters and dealers are subject to frequent mandatory testing to monitor for toxins.
Symptoms of amnesic shellfish poisoning can occur within 30 minutes to 24 hours after eating toxic seafood. In mild cases, symptoms may include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, headache, and dizziness. These symptoms disappear within several days. In severe cases, the victim may experience trouble breathing, confusion, disorientation, cardiovascular instability, seizures, excessive bronchial secretions, permanent loss of short-term memory, coma, or death.
You can get the most current information on shellfish advisories and quarantines by calling CDPH's toll-free Shellfish Information Line at (800) 553-4133 or viewing the recreational bivalve shellfish advisory interactive map. For additional information, please visit the CDPH Marine Biotoxin Monitoring Web page.