Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - October 19, 1978, Lethbridge, Alberta
6 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD Thursday, October 19, 1978 Tests will reveal extent of red tide VICTORIA (CP) The federal fisheries department will know by early next week how extensive an area of the British Columbia coast is covered by a dangerous and possibly deadly red tide, a spokesman said Wednesday. "We're busy testing a lot of samples to find out what the situation is in actual Wayne Holmes, supervisor of the Vancouver Island Fisheries Inspection District, said in an interview. The department last weeX imposed a ban on the harvesting of clams, mussels and oysters in the Juan de Fuca Strait, Strait of Georgia and Johnstone Strait from ilardwicke Island in the north to the Canada-United States border. The ban does not apply to crab and shrimp. Holmes said the ban was imposed for safety reasons. Red tide is a poisonous cloud of tiny plankton floating like a veil through the water which is ingested by the shellfish. It attacks the nervous system of people eating the shellfish causing nausea, numbness, partial paralysis and tingling around the mouth. In fatal cases, the toxin paralyzes muscles that control breathing. "We know there is red tide in the United States, and we know there is red tide at the lop end of Johnstone Holmes said. "We are concerned that there could be an outbreak all of a sudden right within the gulf and the strait of Juan de Fuca as well, so we closed the whole area until we can do a thorough test of the whole area." He said samples from 40 areas selected at random in the suspect zone are being lesled in laboratories in Vic- toria and Ottawa. Holmes said it will lake a year, and fo r some shellfish such as butterclams up to four or fi ve years, to expel the toxin ingested from the red tide. Barkley Sound on the west coast of Vancouver Island which had an outbreak of Paralytic shellfish poison in November, 1972, is still closed, he said. He said a similar ban on the harvesting of shellfish has been in place from the top end of Vancouver Island north, including the Queen Charlotte Islands, for at least 11 years. Holmes said that each time the shellfish were coming down in toxidty "we'd have another bloom, and that would send them way up again and then it would take another four or five years just to get down to a level where you could possibly open il again, and you'd gel another bloom." A harvesting ban was im- posed in Puget Sound lasl week, covering an area from (he Canadian border to a point 260 kilometres south, near Tacoma. Three months for indecent assault VICTORIA (CP) Terrance Alexander Brown, 23, of Vic- toria was sentenced Monday to three months in jail and 18 months probation for the indecent assault of a female hitch- hiker in March. !le was convicted last month. 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Holiday InixNoJ in people Trick cancelled Whale trainer Klaus Michaelis takes a close look at the mouth of killer whale Skana on Tuesday, a week after he received a number of stitches when Skana misjudged and grabbed him by the head during a routine called the Kiss. The routine has since been cut from the whale show but the two are still friends. 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