OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) and the Thurston County Public Health and Social Services Department (PHSS) have closed Budd Inlet to recreational shellfishing, from inner Budd Inlet to Boston Harbor and the tip of Cooper Point. A marine biotoxin that causes diarrhetic shellfish poison (DSP) has been detected at unsafe levels in shellfish within Budd Inlet in Thurston County.
Shellfish sampled from Budd Inlet contained DSP biotoxin at 23 micrograms per 100 grams, which is above the safety limit of 16 micrograms per 100 grams established by DOH. Warning signs have been posted at public beaches to alert people of the biotoxin closure.
DSP symptoms can cause nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea, with diarrhea being the most commonly reported symptom. DSP biotoxins are produced by naturally occurring algae, and can accumulate in shellfish, making the shellfish unsafe to eat.
Marine biotoxins are not destroyed by cooking or freezing. Shellfish harvested commercially and sold in stores and restaurants are tested for toxin prior to distribution and are safe to eat.
Permanent swimming and shellfish harvest closures due to pollution in inner Budd Inlet, and near wastewater treatment plant outfalls, remain in effect.
To learn more about this and other biotoxin closures around the state, call 1-800-562-5632. You can also check beach closures on the DOH website at: https://fortress.wa.gov/doh/biotoxin/biotoxin.html.