For Release: Thursday, May 12, 2011
DEC Temporarily Closes Shellfishing Areas in Town Of Huntington, Suffolk County
Closures Follow Finding of Marine Biotoxin in Shellfish
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced that shellfish harvesting in particular areas in the Town of Huntington have been temporarily closed, effective immediately, due to the detection of a marine biotoxin.
The closure impacts approximately 2,200 acres, covering all the underwater lands in Northport Bay, Centerport Harbor, and Duck Island Harbor that lie east of a line extending from the southernmost point of West Beach (also known as Sand City Beach) to the northeast corner of the beach pavilion at the Town of Huntington's Crescent Beach, located on the southern shore of Huntington Bay. A map showing the affected areas is available on the DEC website.
Clams, mussels and oysters are harvested commercially and recreationally in these areas. All shellfish harvesting in these lands is prohibited until further notice in an effort to protect public health.
This action was taken after DEC determined that shellfish samples collected from both Northport Harbor and Northport Bay tested positive for saxitoxin, a marine biotoxin that causes paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP). The samples were tested as part of DEC's marine biotoxin monitoring program. In 2006, DEC implemented it's first-ever closure of shellfish lands due to the detection of biotoxins in shellfish in Northport Harbor. Additional biotoxin closures have been implemented in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
DEC will re-open areas as soon as possible based on the results of laboratory analyses of shellfish and water samples that will be collected over the next few weeks. A taped message advising harvesters of the status of these shellfish areas can be heard by calling (631) 444-0480. The message will be updated during the course of the temporary closure.