The National Shellfish Sanitation Program (NSSP) is a program under the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to promote the sanitary control of molluscan shellfish produced, harvested and sold for human consumption. The Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference (ISSC), comprised of representatives of the federal government, the states and industry, reviews, revises and updates the NSSP as needed. The NSSP has established a Model Ordinance (MO), which is updated on a biannual basis.
The Division of Marine Fisheries manages its shellfish resources and commercial shellfish fisheries in strict conformity with the NSSP’s MO. The Division has adopted the provisions of the MO in regulations at 322 CMR 16.00 to provide notice to the public of the comprehensive requirements applicable to the safe management of commercial shellfisheries and give the Division, through the Massachusetts Environmental Police, the authority to enforce against violations of 322 CMR 16.00. 322 CMR 16.00 also serves to safeguard public health, maintains consumer confidence and promotes the state’s shellfish fisheries.