Shellfish and Lobster Guts Safe Again

Seafood lovers can again enjoy recreationally caught shellfish and the internal organs of lobster and crab from the Ventura County coastline as the ban that the state levied in October was lifted Friday.

Health officials had warned people not to eat mussels, clams, or scallops from the area, as well as the internal organs of nearby crustaceans, because they could potentially cause a disease called amnesic shellfish poisoning. But no illnesses were reported and recent testing found levels of domoic acid, which at high concentrations can cause shellfish poising, to be safe.

Domoic acid is formed by a mix of sunlight, nutrients, water temperature, and salinity. Sudden increases are called “diatom blooms.” The naturally occurring phenomenon can vary by concentration and location and is not completely understood by scientists.

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