Mussel ban begins early

Sport-harvested mussels in California carry toxins

Tracy Lehr, KEYT NewsChannel 3 Reporter, tracy@keyt.com
POSTED: 05:55 PM PDT Apr 25, 2013    UPDATED: 09:14 AM PDT Apr 26, 2013 
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VENTURA, Calif. -

Sport fisherman are being warned not to harvest mussels from California's coast.

An annual ban usually starts May 1, but health officers started it this week after finding evidence of toxins in local mussels.

Fisherman said they may carry the same domoic acid that  makes seals sick.

Symptoms of shellfish poisoning often start with a tingling feeling in the throat and fingertips.   Serious cases can cause nervous system damage or even death.

Commercial fisherman do not harvest clams in the warm waters so their take is considered safe.

The owners of the new Hyun's Tackle Shop in Ventura said the ban won't hurt business because there are plenty of other fish in the sea.

Even though fisherman said the best months to eat mussels are during months with the letter "R" in them like March and April, the ban runs through October 31.