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Recent rain leads to shellfish restrictions


The large amount of rainfall we’ve received in the last couple of days has caused large amounts of polluted storm water runoff to flow into local waterways. The Division of Marine Fisheries District Manager Rich Carpenter said the extra pollution can cause some popular foods to be unsafe to eat. Due to the danger, the Division of Marine Fisheries has closed some shellfish areas.

People cannot take oysters, clams or mussels from certain waters in Brunswick, Pender and Onslow Counties. Carpenter said when these areas will open up when the pollution has been reduced.

“As far as when these areas are reopened, it really depends on the weather and if we have more rain," Carpenter said. "If we have more rain it would delay the opening, but hopefully it will be opening very shortly.”

Below is from the Division of Marine Fisheries website:

Dr. Louis B. Daniel III, Director, Division of Marine Fisheries, upon the recommendation of Leah Devlin, D.D.S., M.P.H., State Health Director, Department of Health and Human Services, hereby announces that the following shellfish area temporary closures will take effect immediately:

No person shall take or attempt to take any oysters, clams or mussels or possess, sell or offer for sale any oysters, clams or mussels taken from the following polluted areas:
All those waters between ICWW marker “89” near Ocean Isle and the South Carolina State Line, to include the Tubbs Inlet area.
Shallotte River - All those waters in Shallotte River upstream of a straight line from Bowen Point to Long Point.
Lockwoods Folly River - All those waters between Southport and ICWW Channel Marker #48, to include all of Lockwoods Folly River and the Lockwoods Folly River Inlet area (see map).
All those waters bordered on the northeast by a straight line from Swan Point through ICWW Channel Marker #4 to the eastern tip of West Onslow Beach, (south shore of New River Inlet), and bordered on the southwest by the Surf City Bridge.
All those waters bordered on the northeast by a straight line from ICWW Marker #45 to the eastern tip of Bear Island, and bordered on the southwest by a straight line at ICWW Channel Marker # 65A, located just west of Salliers Bay near New River Inlet, to include White Oak River, Queens Creek and Bear Creek (see map).
Newport River - All those waters in Newport River upstream of the Highway 70 High Rise Bridge and Morehead-Beaufort Causeway, to include all tributaries and Core Creek.
North River - All those waters in North River upstream of a straight line beginning at a point at the permanent closure line near Channel Marker #56B to the mainland side of the Harker’s Island Bridge at The Straits.
A. This proclamation is issued under the authority of N.C.G.S. 113-170.4; 113-170.5; 113-182; 113-221.1; 143B-289.52 and N.C. Marine Fisheries Rules 15A NCAC 3H .0103 and 3K .0101.
B. It is unlawful to violate the provisions of any proclamation issued by the N.C. Fisheries Director under his delegated authority pursuant to N.C. Marine Fisheries Rule 15A NCAC 3H .0103.
C. These temporary closures are due to heavy rainfall and resultant runoff.

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