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State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 24, 2005

Contact: Karen Hershey
(609) 984-1795

PORTIONS OF DELAWARE BAY CLOSED FOR SHELLFISH HARVEST

TRENTON (05/85)- The New Jersey Department of Environmental (DEP) today suspended shellfish harvesting in New Jersey waters in portions of the Delaware Bay due to the presence of a bacterium in excess of acceptable levels. Approximately 93 square miles of the Delaware Bay are affected by the suspension.

Vibrio parahaemolyticus (Vp) is a naturally occurring bacterium found in coastal waters and is not related to pollution or human waste. Eating raw oysters, clams or mussels can cause Vp illness. Symptoms of Vp illness include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and in some cases, fever and chills. In 2001 and 2002, illnesses from Vp were linked to New Jersey oysters; however, no further illnesses have been attributed to New Jersey oysters since 2002. The bacteria thrives under warm temperatures and is linked to raw oysters, clams or mussels harvested and consumed during the summer months.

The DEP has an ongoing monitoring program for Vp and will lift the harvest suspension when test results - 2 successive samples at least four days apart - meet the criteria for safe harvest recommended by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

See Order below.

 

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NJDEP Bureau of Shellfisheries
http://www.njfishandwildlife.com/shelhome.htm

 

Richard J. Codey
Acting Governor
State of New Jersey (seal)
Department of Environmental Protection
Bradley M. Campbell
Commissioner

SUSPENSION OF SHELLFISH HARVEST

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
LAND USE MANAGEMENT

Public Notice of Suspension of Harvest in Shellfish Beds Dangerous to Health

Pursuant to statutory authority granted the Department of Environmental Protection appearing at N.J.S.A. 13:1B-4 and 58:24-1 et seq., and to assure that the public health is not imperiled by the consumption of shellfish that may be subject to any conditions which may render shellfish dangerous to health due to the presence of the pathogen Vibrio parahaemolyticus in levels that exceed acceptable criteria, the Department of Environmental Protection hereby suspends the harvesting of all shellfish (oysters, clams and mussels only) from those State waters previously classified as Approved or Seasonally Approved within the following area:

All of New Jersey’s waters in Delaware Bay that are northwest of a line from the mouth of Straight Creek to Cross Ledge Lighthouse, commonly known as the Southwest Line.

This harvest suspension shall take effect immediately, and shall remain in effect until further notice from the Department of Environmental Protection. This action is taken as described in the “Vibrio parahaemolyticus Contingency Plan” that was adopted by the Department of Health and Senior Services and the Department of Environmental Protection. This contingency plan was developed to maintain New Jersey’s compliance with the National Shellfish Sanitation Program.

DATE: June 24, 2005   Bradley M. Campbell, Commissioner
 

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Last Updated: June 27, 2005