An Online Map Makes Shellfish Harvesting Safer
Consuming shellfish, such as oysters, clams, scallops, mussels and cockles, harvested from closed or unmonitored areas can lead to serious and potentially fatal illness.
A new online map detailing open and closed bivalve shellfish harvesting areas in real time will help Canadians to make informed decisions and avoid the consumption of contaminated shellfish.
Levels of marine biotoxins, bacteria and other harmful contaminants are routinely monitored by the Canadian Shellfish Sanitation Program (CSSP), who closes bivalve shellfish harvesting areas when levels of these substances pose a health risk. The new map will allow Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) to present information online on closures in a matter of minutes.
The online shellfish harvesting map enables any shellfish harvester to view a desired area to see if it is open or closed. Users are able to clearly see harvest area boundaries. The map also allows harvesters to subscribe to automatic email notifications for openings and closures in areas of interest.
“The Shellfish Harvesting Map is an online tool to help Canadians make informed decisions on where to harvest bivalve shellfish. Real-time maps like this ensure people consume safe shellfish from open harvest areas,” said Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard. “Canada has an excellent reputation for safe and high-quality shellfish and this new harvesting map will ensure it continues.”
The map also serves as an extension of the DFO Fisheries Notices. Updates on the opening and closing of harvesting areas will also continue to be communicated as appropriate to the public through local media, notices posted in closed areas and information provided by local DFO offices.