No shellfish closures, inspections continue

AUGUSTA — To maintain bivalve shellfish harvest opportunities in the state of Maine, the sampling and analysis associated with the DMR Bureau of Public Health Shellfish Growing Area Classification Program and DMR Marine Biotoxin Monitoring Program remain active. 

Future schedule adjustments in response to COVID-19 are evolving, but flexible plans have been developed that are designed to minimize the impact to shellfish harvest along the Maine coast. No closures are planned due to current COVID-19 staff restrictions; however, harvesters are encouraged to stay in touch with the department to determine potential status change.  

The current operations plan for the Bureau of Public Health includes continuing to conduct on-site shellfish dealer inspections while respecting social distancing, such as no person to person contact and maintaining a six foot separation. 

To protect the public from unsafe or unsanitary distribution and consumption of Maine shellfish, dealers that remain operational will need to allow access to inspectors following the normal requirements. Dealers that are temporarily suspending operations will not require inspections during the duration of this pandemic and will be permitted to reopen following an inspection. 

Contact [email protected] 

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