SEASIDE, Ore. (AP) - State agriculture officials in Oregon have delayed the start of the commercial Dungeness crabbing season statewide due to high levels of domoic acid found in some crabs' flesh.
Closure of the crab season last year along the Pacific coast due to domoic acid contamination caused crabbers to lose millions.
Recreational crabbing in coastal waters from Tillamook Head along the northern coast to the California border was also temporarily shut down. The Oregon Department of Agriculture says the recreational ban includes the harvest of Dungeness and red rock crab in bays and estuaries, off docks, piers, jetties and in the ocean.
Recreational crab harvesting from Tillamook Head north to the Columbia River remains open for now.
Consumption of domoic acid can result in dizziness, headaches, vomiting and diarrhea. More severe cases can result in memory loss and death.
The toxin is produced by algae from the ocean, officials said. It cannot be removed through cooking or freezing.
State officials said crab and shellfish sold in retail stores and restaurants is still safe to eat.