The Atlantic coastline and Hampton Seabrook Harbor reopened for shellfish harvesting on Friday. These waters have been closed for the past two months due to high levels of a toxin caused by a phenomenon called red tide.
Surf clams are still under a harvesting ban. Toxin levels of red tide are still too high for this type of shellfish, according to New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services.
Blue mussels, soft shell clams and oysters are now safe for harvesting, although some might be in their off season now.
Chris Nash, the Shellfish Program Manager at DES, warned harvesters of the risks of consuming surf clams.
“Potentially, it’s a fatal syndrome,” said Nash. “If you eat enough shellfish that has high enough toxin level. It’s a neurotoxin. And what it does is it paralyzes your central nervous system.”
Nash and his team plans to continue sampling the water for the toxin.
“We will have that closure with us for the month of August,” said Nash. “Then we’ll see where we are on the next round of sampling.”
Great Bay and Little Bay were also closed for part of the summer due to high toxin levels. They reopened in July.