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RI Department of Environmental Management
NEW SHELLFISH REGULATIONS ISSUED
PROVIDENCE - The Department of Environmental Management (DEM) announces the promulgation of new regulations governing the "wet" storage of shellfish. The regulations set standards by which licensed shellfish dealers can store live shellfish in tanks or containers in the natural environment. This wet storage of clams, oysters, scallops, mussels and conchs will allow for product caught in the wild to be held while preserving its quality and freshness.
Prior to the issuance of these new regulations it was not legal to wet store shellfish in open water. The only legal means of storage had been refrigerated storage, which is expensive and limits the amount of time that shellfish can be stored before being brought to market.
The new regulations are a boost to the coastal industries that rely on shellfish. The regulations will allow land-based dealers and aquaculturists to safely store shellfish until market conditions change.
The regulations were developed cooperatively by DEM's Divisions of Law Enforcement and Fish & Wildlife, the Department of Health the Coastal Resources Management Council and several industry representatives. A public hearing on the draft regulations was held on May 2.