The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has put a hold on Gulf County’s scallop season, as a dangerous toxin has taken ahold of shellfish in the area.
The start of the bay scallop harvest has been pushed back temporarily. It’s a precautionary measure due to an algae bloom which is producing a toxin affecting those who consume shellfish. Florida Wildlife Spokeswoman Amanda Nalley says the toxin called Domoic acid can bring on a variety of symptoms.
“Basically the algae bloom can sometimes produce a neurotoxin and this neurotoxin, when ingested, can cause amnesiac shellfish poisoning. Which can cause symptoms such as, stomach ache, nausea, and even neurological effects like short-term memory loss,” Nalley said.
The affected areas include all state waters stretching from the Mexico Beach Canal in Bay County to the westernmost point of St. Vincent Island in Franklin County. The postponement will last a minimum of two weeks.