State Closes Shellfishing in Buzzards Bay, Nantucket Waters

nantucket harborBUZZARDS BAY – State officials have closed shellfishing in Buzzards Bay until further notice after testing results came back positive for a potentially toxic kind of phytoplankton.

Closures have also gone into effect for Lackeys Bay off Naushon Island and Mount Hope Bay off Fall River. State officials conducted testing over the weekend in Vineyard Sound, Nantucket Sound, and Cape Cod Bay to see if the phytoplankton has spread.

On Nantucket, the state Department of Marine Fisheries has implemented a ban on shellfishing, starting today. The Inquirer and Mirror reports bay scallops also fall under the ban. Waters have not yet been tested on Nantucket and the ban is considered precautionary.

Harvesting, collecting, and possession of shellfish is banned in Bourne, Dartmouth, Fairhaven, Falmouth, Gosnold, Marion, Mattapoisett, New Bedford, Swansea and Westport until further notice.

The phytoplankton, termed Pseudo-Nitzschia, has the ability to produce domoic acid, which can cause Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning. ASP can result in a number of neurological and gastro-intestinal aliments.

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