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Biotoxin and bacterial closures are a key consideration when selecting a site because they can prevent you from selling your shellfish during certain times of the year or after heavy rains. Understanding these Bureau of Public Health restrictions will help you avoid being closed for long periods of times or during times of peak demand. You either want to avoid closure-prone areas or create a plan for how to prepare yourself for them.

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Questions

DMR Bureau of Public Health

The Department of Marine Resources Bureau of Public Health regulations dictate where you can grow shellfish; and when and how you can harvest your product. The area you are considering might be closed for part of the year (e.g., in the warmer summer months) or infrequently (e.g., after heavy rain), which means you cannot harvest and sell product during that time. Timing of any closures is important to understand because you want to avoid being closed during times of peak demand, such as Fourth of July weekend. The bottom line is this: contact DMR Bureau of Public Health well before you apply for your site.

These closures, which are generally caused by high rainfall events, are most prevalent in spring and fall and can be highly site specific. You should contact the DMR Bureau of Public Health to get a sense for timing and frequency of biotoxin and bacterial closures. You should also check their maps before harvesting any shellfish. This can help you anticipate and plan ahead for times when you can’t harvest and sell your crops.

Bacterial closures are generally predictable and apply to small areas. Biotoxin closures cover wide swaths along the coast and are difficult to predict. DMR Bureau of Public Health can help you understand when Biotoxin closures have occurred in an area historically.

You can contact the Department of Marine Resources Bureau of Public Heath using this email: [email protected]

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