SALEM -- The Oregon Agriculture Department has closed recreational mussel harvesting on a large portion of the Oregon coast because of elevated levels of paralytic shellfish toxins.
The closure announced Friday affects an area from Tillamook Head south to Heceta Head, about 13 miles north of Florence on the central coast.
The closure does not affect recreational clam harvesting on the Oregon coast. Also, crab are not affected by this level of toxin and are safe to eat.
All coastal areas north of Tillamook Head and south of Heceta Head remain open to all recreational shellfish harvesting.
Shellfish contaminated with the toxins can cause minor to severe illness or even death. Cooking will not destroy the toxins, which are produced by algae.