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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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Related Link:

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