With the long weekend approaching, Fisheries and Oceans is reminding beachcombers of the rules around shellfish harvesting.

A recent incident in Powell River saw a number of tourists fined for illegally harvesting shellfish.

Acting Field Supervisor with Fisheries and Oceans Canada Ben Rahier says before you head out on the water, it’s important to consult the DFO’s website and make sure the area you’re going to is open for harvesting.

“Red tide, and various other types and forms of contamination can occur year-round. Shellfish, in a number of areas, are tested for these quite often and it can change from week to week if an area is open for harvesting or not.”

Rahier says you also need to survey the beach area for any warning signage. He adds that you also need to have a valid tidal water-sports fishing license before you harvest, and that you obey the daily maximum possession rule.

Harvesters can grab 15 oysters per license per day and for clams, it’s 75 per license per day.

Further details can be found at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada website at www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca.