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.