Fishery Notice

Category(s):
ABORIGINAL - General Information
COMMERCIAL - General Information
COMMERCIAL - Herring: Spawn on Kelp
COMMERCIAL - Herring - Roe: Test Fishery
COMMERCIAL - Herring - Roe: Seine
COMMERCIAL - Herring - Roe: Gill Net
COMMERCIAL - Herring: Food and Bait
COMMERCIAL - Herring Special Use
RECREATIONAL - Fin Fish (Other than Salmon)
Sanitary/Other Contamination Closures
Subject:
FN0238-EMERGENCY CLOSURE - Herring Egg Harvest - Mid Vancouver Island - March 23, 18:00 hours


Pursuant to Variation Order PSN-2018-144, Pacific Fishery Management Areas 14-
1, 14-4, and 14-5 will close to fishing for herring eggs by handpicking,  
effective at 18:00 hours today, until further notice.  This closure is in 
effect based on advice received from Vancouver Island Health Authority 
regarding concern for human health with multiple reports of diarrheal illness 
associated with herring egg consumption from product harvested on substrate in 
his area.  There are three lab confirmed cases of diarrheal illness after 
herring egg consumption for Vibrio cholera, an unusual organism not normally 
found in water in this region or country.  There are a number of existing 
sanitary closures for shellfish harvest in these areas and marine water 
sampling results from March 6, 2018 showing elevated fecal coliform levels in 
this area.  Primary harvest is First Nations Food, Social and Ceremonial 
harvest, however recreational harvest could occur as well.

The bacteria can be found in the aquatic environment and can cause intestinal 
illness after eating contaminated foods.  Illness may include mild to severe 
nausea, vomiting, and very severe watery diarrhea.  Some people don't become 
ill and don't know they have been infected.  Health authorities are asking you 
to take the following precautions and actions: 
	
-If you are ill, ensure you are drinking small amounts of fluid frequently to 
keep hydrated. Visit your physician or health center to ensure treatment and 
confirmation of the cause of illness. Let your health care provider know if you 
have eaten raw or lightly-cooked herring eggs within 5 days of onset of illness 
or caring for someone who became ill after eating herring eggs. 

-The bacteria can be passed from person to person, even if you don't have 
symptoms.  Always wash your hands well after going to the bathroom or caring 
for someone who has been ill. 
 
-If you have stored herring eggs, please call First Nations Health Authority 
Environmental Public Health Services at 250-924-6125. Samples are being 
requested for testing (keep cold and in original packaging).
Discard any extra stored herring eggs to avoid further illness. Freezing does 
not kill the bacteria. 

-When handling herring eggs, practice proper handwashing and sanitize dishes 
and equipment to avoid cross contamination.

-Ensure other community members who may have received herring eggs are aware of 
these precautions and actions. If they are ill, we request that they be in 
contact with their physician or Health Center. 

The investigation into the Vibrio cholerae infection cases is ongoing and in 
collaboration with BC Center for Disease Control and First Nations 
communities.  This includes the testing of marine water samples, leftover food 
samples, clinical samples and assessing the handling and distribution of the 
harvested product.  This is a unique situation and as more information becomes 
available it will be shared.  Any future advice or recommendations will be made 
in partnership with First Nations communities.

For more information please contact Vancouver Island Health Authority at 
info@viha.ca or 1-800-204-6166.
 
A reminder that sanitary shellfish closures also exists for bivalves in some 
areas in the French Creek and Qualicum Bay area. Harvesters are reminded to 
check area shellfish closures prior to harvesting bivalves. 


DATE: Mar 23, 2018

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Brenda Spence (250)616-0702

Fisheries & Oceans Operations Center - FN0238
Sent March 23, 2018 at 1551