- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 6, 2015

BELLINGHAM, Wash. (AP) - State health officials have closed all recreational shellfish harvesting on beaches in northern Whatcom County after tests found unsafe levels of a biotoxin.

The State Department of Health announced the closure on Wednesday for beaches from Sandy Point north to the Canadian boarder, including Points Roberts.

Testing detected unsafe levels of paralytic shellfish poisoning, or PSP, biotoxin in molluscan shellfish. These include clams, mussels, oysters and scallops.

This was the second biotoxin-related closure in less than a month. Officials say the algae that contains the toxins can’t be seen and must be detected by laboratory testing. The department of health provides test results on its website.

Officials say shellfish sold in restaurants and markets have been tested before distribution and are safe to eat.

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