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State expands shellfish warning

A harmful algae bloom that causes gastrointestinal problems

A harmful algae bloom that causes gastrointestinal problems in those who eat affected shellfish was discovered in Northport Harbor. (April 14, 2011) Credit: Jon Premosch

Add carnivorous snails and parts of blue claw crabs and lobsters to the list of marine life in Huntington and western Shinnecock Bay that the state has warned against eating because of the possible presence of a potentially fatal neurotoxin.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation on Friday warned consumers to avoid eating carnivorous gastropods, such as whelks, conchs and moonsnails, as well as the tomalley of blue claw crabs and lobsters from western Shinnecock Bay in Southampton and, in the Town of Huntington, Huntington Bay, Huntington Harbor, Lloyd Harbor, Northport Bay, Northport Harbor, Centerport Harbor and Duck Island Harbor.

The presence of the neurotoxin is due to harmful seasonal algae blooms.

Earlier this month, the state closed waters temporarily in many of the same locations after testing found the same neurotoxin in shellfish.

The toxin, saxitoxin, can cause paralytic shellfish poisoning, a potentially fatal illness in those who consume affected marine life.

Read the release.


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