Fisheries and Oceans Canada - Quebec Region

Fisheries and Oceans Canada - Quebec Region

July 21, 2009 12:05 ET

Shellfish Harvesting: Reminder Notice to the Public and Visitors

ILES-DE-LA-MADELEINE, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - July 21, 2009) - Fisheries and Oceans Canada wishes to remind Magdalen Islands residents and visitors about the regulations and potential dangers related to shellfish harvesting. While visitors and residents alike enjoy harvesting and eating shellfish, bi-valve shellfish are sensitive to water quality and can become contaminated from bacteria, toxic algae or chemical pollutants. This contamination is potentially hazardous and, in rare cases, it may cause death. It is up to every individual to ensure that his or her shellfish comes from an open harvesting area.

Harvesters must comply with regulations related to shellfish harvesting, such as area closures. They may not exceed the daily quota of 300 shellfish per person unless they have a commercial fishing licence. Harvesting American oysters is prohibited. Harvesters must also comply with the minimum legal size requirements set out in the table below. Offenders will be subject to prosecution.



Minimum Legal Size
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Shellfish Size
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Softshell clam 51 mm
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Surfclam 76 mm
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Mussel 40 mm
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Atlantic Razor clam 100 mm
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Fisheries and Oceans Canada, whose mandate is to protect and conserve fishery resources, is vigilant in its efforts to prevent shellfish harvesting in closed areas and to protect public health.

The Department is also asking the public to report poaching incidents by calling 1-800-463-9057. All calls are confidential.

For more information, visit the Canadian Shellfish Sanitation Program's Web site at http://www.mollusca.gc.ca/ or contact your local Fisheries and Oceans Canada office at 418-986-2123.

Internet: http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca

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