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Scituate clam beds temporarily closed for testing

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  January 16, 2014 02:58 PM

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Scituate clam beds have been temporarily closed for state testing, but are expected to open within a week, Scituate officials said.

According to Scituate Harbormaster Mark Patterson, the closure request came from the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries.

Marine Fisheries biologists were not immediately available for comment, yet Patterson said the closures are routine.

“For the past three or four years, we’ve been doing quahog relays, where we buy contaminated shellfish and we put them into the North River,” Patterson said. “Because clams and quahogs are filter feeders, they ingest clean water, process that, and clean them out. They purge themselves within a few months, and the state comes back and tests them.”

Patterson said the testing is likely in conjunction with the relays, which usually start in June. Clamming will be allowed to resume if the shellfish are deemed suitable for consumption, Patterson said.

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