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|Oyster beds open: Colder temps decrease Vibrio illness concerns|
|Written by Gillian Smith|
|Wednesday, 09 October 2013 09:05|
The Department of Public Health and Division of Marine Fisheries has reopened oyster beds in Duxbury due to colder waters and a significantly decreased risk of Vibrio parahaemolyticus.
The DPH announced the reopening on Oct. 4, stating that all previously closed oyster beds would reopen on Sat- urday, Oct. 5. The reopened beds were in Back River, Bluefish River, Duxbury Bay, Katama Bay, Kingston Bay and Plymouth Harbor. The beds were closed for about one month following an out- break of Vibrio tied to oysters harvested from the beds.
“We appreciate the cooperation and understanding of the public and the industry,” Massachusetts Public Health Commissioner Cheryl Bartlett said. “It was important to monitor environmental conditions and reports of illness, which gave us confidence that public health concerns were addressed before the harvesting areas were repened.”
State officials reviewed data that showed no new human cases of Vibrio illnesses since the closure. Coupled with the declining weekly average water temperatures and a trend of cooler daily water temperatures over the last week or so, officials decided the data suggested it was safe to reopen the beds.
Beds in Duxbury, Kingston, Marshfield and Plymouth were closed on Aug. 30 and Katama Bay in Edgartown
was closed on Sept. 9. Products that had been distributed for wholesale and retail sales were also recalled. This was the first time a specific area in Massachusetts was connected to a Vibrio outbreak.
In 2012, the Food and Drug Administration recommended that the Department of Public Health and Division of Marine Fisheries implement a Vibrio control plan for shellfish harvest and growing areas in Eastern Cape Cod Bay. The two agencies have joint authority over shellfish sanitation and control. A statewide Vibrio Control Plan has been in effect since May 2013.