Story by Tommy Wang, MyCoastNow.com

SUNSHINE COAST, B.C. – You should avoid harvesting for shellfish on the Sunshine Coast for the next little while.

This comes after elevated and high paralytic shellfish poisoning levels have been found in the area.

Sechelt inlet is going to be closed for shellfish harvesting until further notice.

Residents are also being asked to avoid consuming any harvest shellfish from Sechelt Inlet, Egmont, Jervis Inlet or around Nelson and Hardy Island.

“This is serious and people should aware it’s a matter of public health and safety,” said Ben Rahier who is a DFO Officer on the Sunshine Coast.

“This is life or death potentially. The paralytic shellfish poisoning in high dosage can lead to paralyzing an individual’s diaphragm and leading that person unable to breathe.”

There’s also a common misconception that cooking these shellfish will get rid of the toxin, which is not the case.

Any time you are consuming shellfish, if you feel any tingling or numbness in your mouth, lips or your tongue, you should seek immediate medical attention.