California quarantine on mussels lifted

California health officials have lifted the annual statewide quarantine on sport-harvested mussels, saying tests show toxins and domoic acid are at safe or undetectable levels.

The quarantine is issued for the entire California coastline, usually from May 1 through October 31.

But today's California Department of Public Health announcement doesn't apply to shellfish or some parts of crustaceans and small finfish caught near the Channel Islands off Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

Health officials issued a health advisory for that area on October 16 and it remains in effect. Elevated levels of domoic acid were found in samples of mussels, clams and scallops and in the internal organs of lobster and crab. The warning does not apply to fish sold commercially.

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