TRURO – Harvesting of bivalve molluscs, including oysters, clams, mussels, Bay scallops and quahogs, for commercial or recreational purposes is prohibited in various parts of the province and Prince Edward Island until further notice.
The closure, according to a Department of Fisheries and Oceans press release, is due to the heavy rainfall on Monday, which is likely to contaminate shellfish and increase levels of bacterial shellfish poisoning.
Environment Canada recommended the department issue the closure.
In Colchester County, the shorelines of the Northumberland Strait and Gulf of St. Lawrence are included in the closure. Those same shorelines of Cumberland, Pictou, Antigonish and Inverness counties are also closed.
Foreshore and marine waters of Guysborough, Richmond, Bras D’Or Lakes, the Atlantic coastline of Cape Breton Regional Municipality, Victoria County, Halifax County from Hartlen Point to Guysborough County and Yarmouth County are also affected.
In Prince Edward Island, areas closed include from Hillsborough Bay east along the shoreline of Queen's County, the entire shoreline of King's County and along the north side to near Dalvay.
Testing by Environment Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is underway and the results will help to determine the next steps forward towards progressive re-openings.
For more information, see the department Backgrounder, Shellfish Harvest Closures, available at http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fm-gp/sustainable-durable/aquaculture/ihs-rim-eng.htm.