Texas Opens Espiritu Santo Bay and Part of San Antonio Bay to Oyster Harvesting

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News Release
January 26, 2012

The Texas Department of State Health Services announced today that Espiritu Santo Bay and a portion of San Antonio Bay will open to the harvesting of oysters and other molluscan shellfish effective Friday, Jan. 27. Recent tests indicate that shellfish from those areas are safe to consume. All other Texas coastal waters remain closed to harvesting at this time due to red tide, an algal bloom of Karenia brevis.

The amount of algae in coastal water has been dropping. DSHS will continue testing samples of water and oyster meat throughout the Texas coast and will open additional areas as conditions allow.

The algae contain a toxin that can accumulate in the tissue of oysters, clams, mussels and whelks and cause neurotoxic shellfish poisoning, NSP, in humans who consume them. Symptoms of NSP include nausea, dizziness, dilated pupils and a tingling sensation in the extremities. The closure does not affect shrimp, crab or finfish.

Texas waters have been closed to the harvesting of oysters since Nov. 1. The public can usually harvest oysters from Nov. 1 through April 30.

The open portion of San Antonio Bay is the “conditionally approved area” as indicated on the map at www.dshs.state.tx.us/seafood/MapsPDF/ShellfishClassificationMaps/SanAntonio_2010.pdf.


(News Media Contact: Chris Van Deusen, DSHS Assistant Press Officer, 512-776-7753)

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Last updated December 30, 2013