Story by Tommy Wang, Vista Radio

SUNSHINE COAST, B.C. – The Department of Fisheries and Oceans is seeing an increase in illegal shell fishing around the Sunshine Coast.

Ben Raahier, a local DFO Officer says eating shellfish from contaminated areas can have severe consequences and you should be aware of where you can harvest shellfish.

“First and foremost, if you’re going to go out shellfish harvesting, you want to make sure that beach is open and there’s no contamination,” he said.

“When you show up to a beach, look for signage. The DFO is very diligent on posting signs on most beaches, whether they’re open or closed.”

Raahier says if you consume contaminated shellfish, you could get sick or even worse, die from it.

“Chloroform contamination or for paralytic shellfish poisoning a.k.a. Red Tide, the effects could be serious and can potentially lead to severe illness and in some cases, death,” he explained.

For further details on shellfish harvesting, visit the DFO’s website.