For Immediate Release - May 04, 2012

Public Meetings Concerning Oyster Fisheries in E. Cape Cod Bay

Two public meetings are scheduled to review portions of the 2011 Program Element Evaluation Report from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which recommends changes to how oysters are harvested and handled in eastern Cape Cod Bay.  The recommendations from FDA include the development of a Vibrio parahaemolyticus (Vp) Control Plan by MA Department of Public Health, Bureau of Environmental Health, Food Protection Program (FPP), and the MA Department of Fish and Game, Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF).  Such a plan might include faster cooling and delivery of oysters, changes in oyster handling for harvesters, and additional HACCP and recordkeeping requirements for primary buyers of oysters.

The area impacted would most likely include the state waters of eastern Cape Cod Bay adjacent to the towns of Barnstable, Yarmouth, Dennis, Brewster, Orleans, Eastham, Wellfleet, and Truro.  All other state harvest areas would be exempt from this plan.

During the meetings, DMF and FPP will welcome suggestions to help ensure that any control plan is practical and enforceable while meeting the FDA temperature control guidelines.  Implementing these controls for the upcoming summer season would require the adding of conditions to permits issued to harvesters and dealers.

Meetings are scheduled for Wednesday, May 9th at 6:30 pm at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History at 869 Main Street/Route 6A in Brewster, and Tuesday, May 15th at 6:30 pm at the Nauset Regional High School Auditorium at 100 Cable Road in North Eastham. 

Please note that space may be limited at the Brewster meeting where the room capacity is approximately 100, but the second meeting at Nauset Regional High School has much larger capacity. 

For more information contact Jared Silva at DMF, 617 626-1534 or via e-mail (jared.silva@state.ma.us).