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For the most current classification and closure information, harvesters should contact your local town shellfish constable.
DMF updates shellfish closure hotline for North Shore biotoxin closures and Conditionally Restricted area rainfall closures at (978) 282-0308, select option 6.
Growing area classification maps are for informational purposes only and do not reflect the current open or closed status of an area.
Growing area classifications are assigned based on the results of sanitary surveys. The classification determines whether or not shellfish in the area can be harvested for human consumption. In Massachusetts, there are five classifications:
APPROVED: Open to shellfish harvesting for direct human consumption subject to local rules and regulations. Closed only during major coast-wide events (e.g., hurricane, oil spill, red tide event).
CONDITIONALLY APPROVED: Closed some of the time due to rainfall or seasonally poor water quality or other predictable events. When open, it is treated as an Approved area.
RESTRICTED: Contains a limited degree of contamination at all times. When open, shellfish can be relayed to a less contaminated area or harvested for depuration.
CONDITIONALLY RESTRICTED: Contains a limited degree of contamination at all times. Subject to intermittent pollution events and may close due poor water quality from rainfall events or season. When open, only commercial harvesting of soft shell clams for depuration is allowed.
PROHIBITED: Closed to the harvest of shellfish under all conditions, except the gathering of seeds for municipal propagation programs under a DMF permit.