Dutch Harbor closed to shellfish harvesting
Seasonal shellfish closures that took effect on May 25 included the Dutch Harbor area of the West Passage. Also closed are Great Salt Pond and Trims Pond on Block Island, Bristol Harbor, Prudence Island’s Potter Cove, and Wickford Harbor’s Fishing Cove. Consistent with federal requirements, the state closes these areas to shellfish harvesting every year due to the impact on water quality associated with marinas and mooring fields. The seasonal closures will end at sunrise on Oct. 15.
The state also announced that as a result of improved water quality and advances in pollution control, increased opportunities for shellfish harvesting in areas of Upper Narragansett Bay, Mount Hope Bay and the Kickemuit River are now available.
“These changes in shellfish classification bring good news to commercial shellfishermen and those who recreate on the state’s waters,” said Janet Coit of the state Department of Environmental Management. “They demonstrate the benefits from public investments made in wastewater treatment infrastructure. Protecting Narragansett Bay and the state’s coastal waters is critical to the long-term viability of Rhode Island’s $7 million shellfishing industry.”