Temporary Shellfish Ban Expanded to Moriches Bay

Map of the shellfish ban affected waterway
Map of the affected waterway (DEC)

A recent temporary ban on shellfishing in some East End waterways has been expanded to include part of Moriches Bay in the Town of Southampton after more shellfish tested positive for biotoxins.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) warned that mussels tested positive for saxitoxin, a marine biotoxin that causes paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) at a monitoring site in Beaverdam Creek. The biotoxins can be hazardous to human health, if consumed.

“DEC will re-open areas as soon as possible based on the results of laboratory analyses that will be conducted over the next few weeks,” the agency said.

About 160 acres of Moriches Bay were off limits to shellfishing as a result. But an area of Shinnecock Bay that was temporarily closed April 12 for the same reason was reopened on May 6, the DEC added.

The April 12 ban included approximately 102 acres in Flanders Bay in the Town of Riverhead, plus Meetinghouse and Terry creeks.

Updated information on the status of temporarily closed shellfishing areas may be heard by calling 631-444-0480.