Boat fire disturbs Whidbey Island shellfish farm

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WHIDBEY ISLAND, Wash. (AP) — The Penn Cove Shellfish company has suspended harvests at Whidbey Island while clean-up crews stop a diesel sheen coming from a derelict vessel that burned and sank.

Penn Cove general manager Ian Jefferds says the harvest is suspended Monday to confirm the safety of its products. He says customers are being supplied from company shellfish beds at Quilcene.

State Health Department shellfish growing area manager Bob Woolrich says there’s no evidence of oil at the Whidbey shellfish beds. The state did not shut down operations; the owner did it as a precaution.

Jefferds says the company “dodged a bullet” and expects to soon resume harvests at Penn Cove.

The 128-foot derelict fishing boat caught fire Saturday and sank Sunday.

The state Ecology Department is overseeing the cleanup.