Letters: Are basin oysters safe?

If First Nation band cannot harvest shellfish, why build oyster farm

Quotes from my recent correspondence with Kerry Marcus, Shellfish Aquaculture Advisor, Fisheries and Oceans Canada:

 

“Sooke Basin is closed to direct harvest of bivalves including clams and oysters due to levels of fecal contamination that requires additional management oversight.”

“Clams have been harvested from Sooke Basin under special license for depuration, which is a method to ensure the shellfish are healthy for consumption. This occurs at federally registered shellfish processing plants on Vancouver Island and has been in place for many years in this area and in others.”

“Oysters may also be harvested from such waters, again by special license, and “relayed” (moved) to areas of clean approved waters for specified times before being approved to go to the food market.”

The article concerning the proposed oyster farm indicated, the T’Souke cannot eat the clams because they are too contaminated.  Is this due to a lack of awareness concerning federally regulated shellfish processing?  Would not the oysters be just as contaminated as the clams?

M. Jackson-Hughes

Sooke