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Water Classifications

Shellfish Classification Trend Chart

Each year, the Bureau of Marine Water Monitoring (BMWM) updates the classification of New Jersey's coastal waters for shellfish harvesting.  These classifications are based on analysis of extensive sampling and pollution source surveys where actual and potential pollution sources are identified.  The classifications represent a comprehensive assessment of the sanitary quality of New Jersey's coastal waters.  As the chart above shows, New Jersey has had a long history of improving the sanitary quality of its coastal waters.

New Jersey uses five different shellfish water classifications.  These classifications are based on assessment of the sanitary quality of the waters as described above.  The water classifications are:

Classification Description
Approved No restrictions on licensed harvesters
Seasonal (November - April) Water open for harvest seasonally from November - April each year
Seasonal (January - April) Water open for harvest seasonally from January - April each year
Special Restricted Harvest only by Special Permit.  Shellfish harvested must be further purified by relay to Approved waters or processing in a depuration plant prior to being sold.
Prohibited No harvest without a special permit from BMWM.

Maps of Shellfish Classifications of New Jersey's Coastal Waters
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Copyright © State of New Jersey, 1996-2014
Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: April 8, 2014

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