Shellfish Area Off Suffolk County Closed Following Detection Of Biotoxin

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Lands Temporarily Closed Pending Further Tests

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced that shellfish harvesting in certain bays in Long Island Sound have been temporarily closed due to the detection of a marine biotoxin.

The closure impacts approximately 2,000 acres, covering all the shellfishing 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 southeastern shore of Huntington Bay. These areas are home to clams, mussels and oysters.

All shellfishing in these lands is prohibited till further notice in an effort to protect public health.

The precaution was taken after DEC determined that shellfish samples collected from Northport Harbor tested positive for saxitoxin, a marine biotoxin that causes paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP). In 2006, DEC implemented its first-ever closure of shellfish lands due to the detection of biotoxins in shellfish in Northport Harbor.

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 during the week. A taped message advising harvesters of the status of shellfish areas may be heard at (631) 444-0480. The message will be updated during the course of the temporary closure.