Shellfish Growing Water Classification

shellfish growing water classification map

The Bureau of Marine Water Monitoring classifies shellfish growing waters and determines whether and how the harvest of shellfish from those waters must be restricted in order to protect the public from health risks associated with the consumption of shellfish. The Bureau has the authority to impose immediate shellfish harvest suspensions and restrictions to protect public health. In addition, the Bureau issues permits for shellfish harvesting, develops control plans, and sets requirements for shellfish license holders for the harvest, handling, and transport of shellfish. This ensures New Jersey harvested shellfish are safe for human consumption.

New Jersey participates in the National Shellfish Sanitation Program (NSSP), which is recognized by the Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference (ISSC; New Jersey is a member of the conference) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The NSSP, among other things, develops and updates regulatory guidelines for the sanitary control of shellfish produced and sold for human consumption. The regulatory guidelines are published by the FDA as the NSSP Guide for the Control of Molluscan Shellfish (NSSP Guide). The Department makes the applicable standards of the NSSP Guide part of the Shellfish Growing Water Classification rules through regulations (N.J.A.C. 7:12).