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Bivalve shellfish contamination closures in BC

Harvesting and eating BC bivalve shellfish is a time-honoured tradition, but it must be done safely. It is both illegal and unsafe to harvest shellfish from a closed area. Eating contaminated shellfish can make you very sick and can even be life-threatening.

Bivalve shellfish have 2 hinged shells and include clams, oysters, scallops, mussels and more. They are highly sensitive to the water quality of their marine environment. Because they feed by filtering microscopic organisms from the water, harmful bacteria, viruses and marine biotoxins from their surroundings can build up in their tissues and make the people who eat them sick.

Contaminated shellfish do not necessarily smell, taste or look different than uncontaminated shellfish, and cooking shellfish does not destroy all biotoxins.

Harvesting closures change often throughout the year for conservation or public health reasons. This means that you must check to see if the species and area you wish to harvest in is legally open for harvesting, every time you head out to fish.

Where are you planning to harvest?

Click on the links in the table below for the area you are planning to harvest or our real-time bivalve shellfish safety harvesting map to ensure that it's safe to harvest.

If you are harvesting for recreational purposes, remember to check the current sport fishing regulations to make sure that it is not only safe, but legal to harvest in that area.

Area Area description
Area 0001, 101 Northern Haida Gwaii
Area 0002, 102, 130, 142 Haida Gwaii
Area 0003, 103 Portland Inlet, Alaska border
Area 0004, 104 Prince Rupert, Porcher Island
Area 0005, 105 Banks Island
Area 0006, 106 Kitimat, Kemano Bay
Area 0007, 107 Bella Bella, Denny Island
Area 0008, 108 Bella Coola, Fitz Hugh Sound
Area 0009, 109 Rivers Inlet
Area 0010, 102 Herbert Point
Area 0011, 111 Bramham Point, Cape Caution
Area 0012 Port Hardy, Robson Bight
Area 0013 Campbell River, Cortes Island, Quadra Island, Sonora Island
Area 0014 Comox, Denman Island, Hornby Island, Parksville
Area 0015 Powell River,Texada Island
Area 0016 Jervis Inlet, Sechelt Inlet, Texada Island
Area 0017 Nanaimo
Area 0018 Saanich, Saltspring Island, Mayne Island, Pender Island, Saturna Island
Area 0019 Victoria, Sidney
Area 0020 Port Renfrew, Sooke
Area 0021, 22 Nitinat Lake,Tzuquanah Point
Area 0023, 123 Port Alberni, Bamfield
Area 0024, 124 Tofino, Flores Island, Meares Island, Vargas Island
Area 0025, 125 Nootka Sound, Esperanza Inlet
Area 0026, 126 Kyuquot Sound
Area 0027, 127 Cape Scott, Quatsino
Area 0028 Vancouver, Bowen Island, Indian Arm, Squamish
Area 0029 Fraser River, Delta, Ladner, Richmond, Tsawassen
Area 0121 West Coast Vancouver Island offshore including Switftsure Bank

Contact us

Email: DFO.PAC.CSSP-PCAM.PAC.MPO@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

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