SEATTLE — Washington state geoduck harvesters and government officials, including Gov. Jay Inslee, are scrambling to overturn China’s decision to ban some shellfish exports from the Pacific Northwest.
The ban has brought the geoduck industry here to a virtual halt.
Fish inspectors in China notified the U.S. Embassy on Dec. 3 that China was tentatively suspending imports of geoduck and other “double-shell aquatic animals,” such as oysters, because they found high levels of paralytic shellfish poisoning, or PSP, in a Nov. 21 shipment of geoducks.
PSP is a biotoxin produced by algae that shellfish eat and, in humans, in high levels it can lead to severe illness and even death.
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