Department of Environmental Conservation

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For Release: Tuesday, June 30, 2015

DEC Re-Opens Particular Shellfishing Areas

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced the reopening of approximately 4,000 acres of shellfish lands in the towns of Southampton, Riverhead and Southold that were closed to the harvest of carnivorous gastropods (whelks, conchs, moon snails) due to the presence of marine biotoxins in shellfish.

Effective at sunrise on Wednesday, July 1, 2015 the biotoxin closures for carnivorous gastropods are rescinded in all shellfish lands in western Shinnecock Bay, in the Town of Southampton, and the uncertified lands of Terry and Meetinghouse Creeks in the Town of Riverhead and James Creek, in the Town of Southold.

These areas were all closed in May of 2015, after DEC's Bureau of Marine Resources detected saxitoxin in mussel samples collected from monitoring sites in each area. Saxitoxin is a naturally occurring marine biotoxin found in dinoflagellates that can cause paralytic shellfish poisoning.

For more information on temporary emergency shellfish closures and maps of the affected areas, visit the DEC website. A recorded message advising harvesters of the status of temporary shellfish closures may also be heard by calling (631) 444-0480.

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