Implications of recent oyster closures and seafood consumption advisories in Galveston Bay
Thompson, Richard E.
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All waters are closed to the taking of molluscan shellfish (oysters, mussels, and clams) until a comprehensive sanitary survey is completed by the Texas Department of Health (TDH) and a classification of each growing area is established. Three classification categories are used for the vast majority of waters in Texas: Approved, Conditionally Approved, and Restricted. Approved Area means acceptable for direct market harvesting under all but very unusual situations. Conditionally Approved Area means under certain conditions the area is not acceptable for harvest and must be closed until the conditions abate and the area returns to normal, during which time it meets the Approved Area criteria. Restricted Area means unacceptable for harvesting without cleansing of the shellfish before entry into the market. A fourth category, Prohibited Area, is used in several very small areas immediately surrounding sewage treatment outfalls entering directly into growing areas. Harvesting is not allowed from Prohibited Areas for any reason.