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NJ DEPT. OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION NEWS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
7/29/02
02/59

Contact: Elaine Makatura
609-292-9289

PORTIONS OF DELAWARE BAY CLOSED FOR SHELLFISH HARVEST

(02/59) Trenton---The New Jersey Department of Environmental (DEP) today suspended shellfish harvesting in New Jersey waters in portions of the Delaware Bay. The suspension resulted from the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services' investigation of the illness traced to bacteria found in Delaware Bay oysters.

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.

The bacteria thrives under warm temperatures and is linked to raw oysters harvested and consumed during the summer months. Because of the above average water temperatures this year, the proliferation of the bacteria is enhanced.

The DEP has an on-going monitoring program for Vp and will lift the harvest suspension when test results meet the criteria for safe harvest recommended by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

See attached Order. [Not available for the Web version of the release.]

 

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