The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) announced today that effective at sunrise on Saturday, October 29, the emergency shellfishing closure for Rhode Island waters will be lifted. The closure was due to a harmful algae bloom that has now subsided. All conditional harvesting areas, with the exception of Area B, remain closed due to rainfall and are scheduled to reopen at noon on Friday, November 4.
During the emergency closure, DEM and the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) analyzed nearly 150 water and shellfish samples from throughout Rhode Island waters for the presence of domoic acid – a toxin responsible for amnesic shellfish poisoning in humans. Recent test results for shellfish have been negative. DEM will continue to monitor local waters as part of its regular survey program.
Closed conditional areas include Area A, Conimicut Triangle, Greenwich Bay, Mt. Hope Bay, and the Kickemuit River. Area B is open. For updates on shellfish closure areas, contact the DEM 24-hour shellfishing hotline at 401-222-2900. Subscribe to the DEM Marine Fisheries email list at email@example.com or visit www.dem.ri.gov/shellfishclosure for more information on the recent harmful algae bloom in Rhode Island waters.
For more information on DEM divisions and programs, visit www.dem.ri.gov.