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For Release: Friday, September 21, 2012

DEC Partially Rescinds Shellfish Closure in the Town Of Oyster Bay, Nassau County

The Harvest of Oysters Is Permitted

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced that the harvesting of oysters, from particular areas in the Town of Oyster Bay is permitted, effective at sunrise Saturday, September 22.

DEC collected hard clam and oyster samples from Oyster Bay Harbor on six occasions in July, August and September for testing by a U.S. Food & Drug Administration laboratory. The results of the last three sets of shellfish samples showed that Vibrio parahaemolyticus was no longer present in oysters at levels that are hazardous to human health.

Based on these findings, DEC has rescinded the closure order that was implemented for all shellfish on July 12. The ban on the harvest of shellfish other than oysters was rescinded on August 4.

When ingested, Vibrio parahaemolyticus may cause diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, often accompanied by abdominal cramps, fever and chills. Symptoms usually occur within 24 hours of ingestion and full recovery may take up to a week. More severe illness may occur in people with compromised immune systems or underlying chronic diseases. To greatly reduce the risk of illness from Vibrio parahaemolyticus in shellfish, all shellfish should be thoroughly cooked prior to consumption.

Information about temporary shellfish closures is available through a recorded message at (631) 444-0480. That message is updated when changes are made to temporary closures. DEC's website also provides information and maps showing areas affected by temporary emergency shellfish closures which can be viewed on DEC's website.

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