If you are looking forward to some great New Jersey shellfish for your holiday weekend meals, look no further. In fact, don’t look at all because there has been a week–long ban on shellfish from New Jersey waters since August 27, the day before Irene hit. The ban continues until further notice.
According to the NJ Department of Environmental Protection, commercial, and recreational harvesters, as well as certified shellfish dealers, are restricted from distributing or consuming shellfish from the state’s closed shellfish beds because of the threat of bacteria borne illness.
Because of the excessive run off and disturbances in NJ ocean waters and estuaries caused by hurricane Irene, bacteria levels have exceeded the federal criteria allowed. Clams, mussels and oysters are filter feeders that can accumulate harmful amounts of bacteria.