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Ocean coastline, closed to shellfish harvesting due to toxin

May 10, 2019

HAMPTON, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire’s Department of Environmental Services has closed the state’s ocean coastline and Hampton-Seabrook Harbor to shellfish harvesting because of a toxin that comes from what’s known as red tide.

New Hampshire Public Radio reports the DES found high levels of the toxin, which causes paralytic shellfish poisoning. It was recently found in mussel samples.

Chris Nash, shellfish program manager at the department, says it comes from toxic algae.

The waters will be closed for the rest of May, which will affect soft shell clamming season. Some oyster harvesting areas remain open in Great Bay and Little Bay.

The DES says paralytic shellfish poisoning is a life-threatening syndrome. It says the onset of symptoms is rapid, usually within two hours of consumption. Symptoms include tingling, burning, numbness, drowsiness, incoherent speech, and respiratory paralysis.

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Information from: WEVO-FM, http://www.nhpr.org/

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