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May 4, 2017 4:03 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Biotoxin Prompts Shellfishing Ban In Western Shinnecock Bay

Area of closure for shellfishing on Shinnecock Bay.
May 10, 2017 11:40 AM

The State Department of Environmental Conservation temporarily closed approximately 1,400 acres in western Shinnecock Bay to shellfishing last Thursday, May 4, after a potentially dangerous marine biotoxin was found in mussels.

The DEC said the closure—which continues this week—comes after mussels collected from biotoxin monitoring sites in the bay by both the state agency and the Suffolk County Department of Health Services tested positive for saxitoxin, a neurotoxin that, if consumed by people, could lead to paralytic shellfish poisoning.

The ban specifically targets the harvesting of carnivorous gastropods, such as whelks, conchs and moon snails, as well filter-feeding shellfish, including clams, oysters, mussels and scallops. In a press release, the DEC said shellfish and carnivorous gastropods can accumulate the biotoxin and, when eaten, can cause humans to become sick.

The closure area includes the portion of Shinnecock Bay that lies west of Pine Neck Point in East Quogue and east of the Post Lane Bridge in Quogue.

The DEC also banned the harvesting of carnivorous gastropods from Deep Hole Creek, Halls Creek and a section of Great Peconic Bay, all in Southold Town.

The DEC noted that, in the mussels tested, the organism known as Alexandrium was detected; it is a form of red algae that produces saxitoxin.

Southampton Town Trustee Ed Warner, who works as a commercial fisherman, said he typically avoids harvesting shellfish from the affected section of Shinnecock Bay in the late spring, explaining that the frequent shellfishing closures, and nearly annual presence of brown tide, keep him away. He pointed out that a few years ago, between 1,400 to 1,500 acres were closed off to shellfishermen due to the presence of the same biotoxin.

The DEC said it will continue to monitor the situation in Shinnecock Bay over the next few weeks before considering reopening the area to shellfishing.

Harvesters seeking the updated status of the closure can call (631) 444-0480.

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Exact time fertilizers etc are being put down...Go figure...
By knitter (1941), Southampton on May 4, 17 5:25 PM
Got to have those perfect green lawns
By weaver (18), southampton on May 5, 17 1:17 PM
And there is serious consideration to razing the pine barrens for a golf course??? Kill the Hills!!!!
By Taz (725), East Quogue on May 5, 17 1:39 PM
WAIT A Minute - -

Are you suggesting that 2 + 2 = 4 ?

That the dumping of chemicals & nitrogen - effects the waters
that it's dumped in ???

Wow. We've never heard of that before...
By sag2harbor (117), sag harbor on May 6, 17 8:22 AM
1 member liked this comment