For Release: Thursday, May 19, 2011
DEC Expands Temporary Closure of Shellfishing Areas in Town Of Huntington, Suffolk County
Closures Follow Finding of Marine Biotoxin in Shellfish in Additional Areas
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced that it has temporarily closed additional shellfish harvesting in the Town of Huntington due to the detection of a marine biotoxin.
This larger closure impacts approximately 7,500 acres, covering all the shellfishing lands in Lloyd Harbor, Coast Guard Cove and Huntington Bay lying southerly of a line extending northeasterly from Lloyd Neck Point to Eatons Neck Point. Last week, DEC closed all of Northport Bay, Centerport Harbor and Duck Island Harbor. On May 6, 2011, DEC also closed all of the underwater lands in Shinnecock Bay that lie west of the southbound lanes of the Ponquogue Bridge and east of the western side (southbound lanes) of the Post Lane bridge in Quogue. These embayments are home to clams, mussels and oysters and remain closed.
All recreational and commercial shellfishing in these lands are prohibited until further notice in an effort to protect public health.
Clams, mussels and oysters are harvested commercially and recreationally in these areas. A map showing the affected areas will be posted on the DEC website.
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 all its monitoring stations in Huntington Bay 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 the first-ever closure of shellfish lands due to the detection of biotoxins in shellfish in Northport Harbor. Closures also took place in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
DEC will reopen 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 may be heard by calling (631) 444-0480. The message will be updated during the course of the temporary closure.