The Washington State Department of Health announced Friday that any razor clams harvested on Thursday, May 7, along an approximately 145-mile stretch of coastal beaches from Long Beach north to Kalaloch should be destroyed due to high levels of a marine toxin. Department officials recently discovered elevated levels of domoic acid in the area, which can cause illness if consumed at high levels. Recreational and commercial razor clam digs scheduled for this weekend have been cancelled by the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife. And, as a precaution, all commercially harvested razor clams are being recalled.“All razor clams harvested from coastal beaches on Thursday, May 7th, should not be eaten. Anyone who has eaten shellfish from this area and who experiences symptoms of Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning (ASP) should see a physician,” said Jerry Borchert, coordinator of the Department of Health’s Marine Biotoxin Program. ASP can be caused by domoic acid ingested in high levels. Symptoms of ASP can include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, dizziness, permanent short-term memory loss and a variety of other ailments. There is no antidote for ASP, and cooking or freezing shellfish doesn’t destroy the toxin. Extreme cases of ASP can cause death, although there have been no known fatalities from this poisoning in Washington state. While crab isn’t included in this closure, the department recommends that the “crab butter” be discarded and only the crab meat eaten. The health department, in cooperation with the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife and coastal Tribes, said officials will continue to monitor domoic acid levels and that the areas will reopen when levels drop. Recreational harvesters should check for biotoxin closures by checking the department’s Shellfish Safety Map or by calling the biotoxin hotline at 1-800-562-5632. Harvesters should also look for and obey warning signs that have been posted at recreational beaches along the coast, the department noted.