Written by Jen Finn
State environmental officials on Tuesday announced the reopening of shellfish areas in central Barnegat Bay, but public clam beds and aquaculture lots in Raritan and southern Barnegat bays remain closed three months after superstorm Sandy.
Water quality in Barnegat Bay has actually been "quite good" since about Nov. 6 as daily sampling showed bacteria levels declining, said Larry Hajna, a spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Protection. Tests of clams themselves have continued since then, and the DEP announced it would reopen shellfish areas from the Route 37 bridge south to Oyster Creek.
But the bay's southern third, from Waretown to Tuckerton, remains closed because clam tissue samples still show bacteria levels above strict standards set by the National Shellfish Sanitation Program, a joint federal-state effort that ensures health safety in the shellfish industry.
Hajna said that does not mean pollution is coming into the bay, but that dormant clams have yet to expel what they picked up when Sandy churned bay waters and flushed pollutants off the land.
"It's really a function of time and temperature," Hajna said. "After the storm, the water temperature went to 50 degrees, and started going down."
Read the full story at the Asbury Park Press>>
The American Fisheries Society is honoring recently retired Florida Institute of Oceanography director Bill Hogarth with the Carl R. Sullivan Fishery Conservation Award — one of the nation's premier awards in fisheries science - in recognition of his long career and leadership in preserving some of the world's most threatened species, advocating for environmental protections and leading Florida's scientific response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.Read more ...
The Marine Stewardship Council has appointed Eric Critchlow as the new U.S. Program Director. Critchlow will be based in the MSC US headquarters in Seattle. He is a former vice president of Lusamerica Foods and has over 35 years in the seafood industry.Read more ...