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May 21, 2011 2:07 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

State Warns Against Eating Of Predators Of Shellfish

May 23, 2011 9:30 PM

Predators of shellfish in western Shinnecock Inlet may be infected with a potent neurotoxin and should not be eaten, state agencies warned on Friday.

Snails, conchs, moonsnails and tomalley from blue claw crabs and lobsters could contain saxitoxin, a poison that can cause muscle paralysis and, in extreme cases, respiratory failure, according to the State Department of Environment Conservation and Department of Health.

The DEC banned shellfishing in the area from Ponquogue Bridge in Hampton Bays to Post Lane Bridge in Quogue on May 6 after the toxin was discovered, and extended the warning to the predators on Friday. Also closed were Northport Bay, Centerport Harbor, Duck Island Harbor, Lloyd Harbor and Huntington Bay.

Predators that eat infected clams, mussels, oysters and scallops can take in the toxin, according to the state. The DEC has suspended the harvesting of predators, known as carnivorous gastropods, from the infected areas.

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great-- now we have to cancel the Gastropod Festival
By CaptainSig (640), Dutch Harbor on May 21, 11 7:15 PM
Not very funny CaptainSig !!!
By PrivateerMatt (390), Weesuck Creek , EQ on May 21, 11 11:11 PM
why is this happening? has it happened before?
By mike44 (1), hampton bays on May 22, 11 12:00 AM
I added links to some of the past stories on the subject.
By Joseph Shaw, Executive Editor (200), Hampton Bays on May 29, 11 9:42 AM
Not funny indeed. What's going on here - Privateer Matt - in the past you have seemed pretty knowledgeable - what's going on? Any ideas?
By North of Highway (278), Westhampton Beach on May 22, 11 9:53 PM
Its very simple what's going on : The red tide species called Alexandrium ( which produces Saxitoxin , a neurotoxin that affects humans ) has shown up here for the first time and the DEC
is making sure no one gets sick from it.
Waters in New England routinely get shut down from Alexandrium.
By PrivateerMatt (390), Weesuck Creek , EQ on May 23, 11 12:20 PM