Clams, oysters, and other bivalve shellfish are ‘filter feeders’, which means they feed on plankton and microorganisms they strain from the water. As temperatures rise, naturally occurring bacteria found in New York’s marine waters can potentially grow to unsafe levels in shellfish.
A common bacteria that is found in our coastal waters is Vibrio parahaemolyticus (Vp), which generally thrives during warm water conditions and can rapidly increase in shellfish during warm air temperatures.
DEC’s Vibrio Control Plan promotes proper postharvest handling of shellfish, during the warm weather months between May 1 through October 31 to ensure shellfish are kept cool after harvesting to protect the public health of shellfish consumers.
In other news, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission will be holding their spring 2021 meeting this week, from May 3-6. For more information including webinar participation go to ASMFC.org.