Shellfish | New Hampshire Public Radio

Shellfish

Chris Nash / NHDES

The state is temporarily banning shellfish harvesting in coastal Atlantic waters because of a severe bloom of potentially toxic algae.

The ban applies to mussels, clams and oysters in near-shore and offshore waters. It does not apply to lobsters, or to inland areas, such as Great Bay and Little Bay.

The advisory also does not indicate a threat to swimmer or surfers, who were allowed back onto the Seacoast beaches as of Monday.

N.H. Coastal Waters Reopen for Shellfish Harvesting

Aug 9, 2019
NH Fish and Game

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.

 

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

The Piscataqua River will be dyed red Monday night as Portsmouth studies how wastewater from a local treatment plant would affect shellfish harvesting.

The city will release a nontoxic red dye into the river along with treated wastewater from its Pease outfall. The study will last about 12 hours, starting Monday evening into Tuesday.

The flow of the dye will simulate how untreated wastewater would move in the river, if filtration at the Pease plant ever malfunctioned.

NH Fish and Game

The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services has closed the state’s ocean coastline and Hampton Seabrook Harbor to shellfish harvesting. The agency came to this decision after finding high levels of a toxin that causes paralytic shellfish poisoning in mussel samples taken yesterday. The toxin comes from what’s known as red tide.

 

Chris Nash is the Shellfish Program Manager at the department and he says the toxin is produced by algae.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is seasonally closing some areas to shellfish harvesting in Little Bay and the Bellamy River due to recent findings about the water quality impacts of Portsmouth wastewater treatment plant. 

NH Seagrant

Scientists at UNH want the public’s help to search for invasive green crabs this spring and summer.

The second year of the monitoring project starts this Saturday.

New Hampshire Sea Grant biologist Gabby Bradt wants to find hotspots of green crabs, and determine when they molt, on the coast.

“And the reason for that is I'm really interested in figuring out when we can harvest soft shell crabs for a fishery and for a seafood market,” she says.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

Gov. Maggie Hassan has signed into law a bill that would allow the Fish and Game Department the closing of clam, oyster and other bivalve area for restoration efforts in the Great Bay.

Hassan said Monday the measure will help ensure the sustainability of shellfish restoration projects and the ecological and water-quality benefits they provide.

The measure requires any such closure be preceded by a public hearing, be limited to 50 acres, and be for a period of not more than five years.

Min Lee via Flickr CC

New Hampshire health, environment and wildlife officials are holding a public meeting on shellfish rules for 2015.

The information session set for Tuesday night in Portsmouth will be an opportunity for the public to hear about a dye tracking study that traced effluent flows from the Pierce Island wastewater treatment facility to Little Harbor and areas of Portsmouth Harbor out to Odiorne Point. Officials say that study indicates that shellfish harvesting in those areas need to be closed.