CONTACT:
Chris Nash, DES: (603) 559-1509
Liza Poinier, Fish and Game: (603) 271-3211
May 19, 2005

Atlantic Coast Shellfishing Closed Because of "Red Tide"

CONCORD, N.H. -- To protect the public from the possible consumption of contaminated shellfish, officials from the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services and the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department have closed the Atlantic coastline to the taking of shellfish until further notice. The closure, instituted May 19, 2005, was made because of elevated levels of Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning or PSP, commonly known as "red tide."

In addition, the shellfish beds at Hampton/Seabrook Harbor will be closed this weekend. More testing will be done to determine whether shellfish harvesting in Great Bay and Little Bay will also be closed; the results of this testing will be announced on the Clam Flat Hotline (1-800-43-CLAMS) and on the Fish and Game website by Friday afternoon, May 20, 2005.

The closures were put in place in response to PSP toxin levels observed in blue mussels from Star Island, the Isles of Shoals, and Hampton/Seabrook Harbor. Rising PSP levels are also being seen off the coasts of Maine and Massachusetts.

Tests are ongoing. When it is determined that it is safe to return the Atlantic Coast growing area to open status, a notice will be issued. For updates, call the Clam Flat Hotline at 1-800-43-CLAMS or click here.

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NH Fish and Game Dept.
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