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Oyster Bay shellfish ban to end -- except for oysters

As of sunrise Saturday, the ban on harvesting shellfish from about 1,980 acres of Oyster Bay will be lifted, except for oysters, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation said in a release issued Friday.

Testing of hard clam samples from Oyster Bay Harbor showed that levels of vibrio parahaemolyticus, a naturally occurring marine bacteria, were no longer hazardous to human health, according to the DEC.

Areas on the north shore of the Town of Oyster Bay had been closed to shellfishing on July 12 in the wake of at least 10 people becoming sick from eating raw or partially cooked shellfish harvested there, officials said.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommended further testing of oysters be done over the next two weeks, before the area can be re-opened to oyster harvesting, officials said.

As of Saturday, shellfish, apart from oysters, can be harvested from normally certified areas of Oyster Bay Harbor, but oysters remain off limits in the normally certified shellfish areas lying west of a line extending south from the stone house at Plum Point (Centre Island) to the northwestern point of Cove Point on Cove Neck, the DEC said.

Learn more about temporary shellfish closures from the DEC's recorded message at (631) 444-0480. See a map of affected areas on the DEC's website at http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7765.html.

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