Contaminated fish or seafood from affected beaches

Orange, Calif.- In response to the oil spill that occurred along the Orange County coastline the weekend of October 2, OC Health Care Agency (HCA) Director and County Health Officer Dr. Clayton Chau continues to advise the public to refrain from consuming contaminated fish or seafood from affected beaches until state officials lift the fisheries closure declaration and complete offshore sampling of seafood safety.

Currently, a fisheries closure remains in place, which prohibits the catch and consumption of any and all fish and shellfish within the area of the closure. For more information on fisheries closure and to view a closure map, please visit

Offshore sampling

The first offshore sampling effort occurred October 28-30, in coordination with commercial fleet members. A third onshore sample collection of mussels will be completed this week and may be analyzed depending on results from the first two sampling efforts.

The California Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) will analyze results from the sampling efforts, develop a risk assessment for seafood safety, and make a recommendation to the California Department of Wildlife to determine whether the fisheries closure could be lifted. Based on analysis timelines and subsequent testing (if necessary), the earliest OEHHA could potentially make a recommendation for re-opening would be the end of November.

Based on water and sediment data received from Orange County samples conducted last month, there continues to be no public health concern for short-term exposures from the use of beaches in the county.

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