HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (AP) — The New York Department of Environmental Conservation is closing a shellfishing harvesting area on Long Island for seven months.
The closure, beginning Saturday, affects about 7,100 acres of Hempstead Bay, west of the Wantagh.
DEC Commissioner Joe Martens says a Food and Drug Administration warning prompted the closure. He says the FDA and DEC found that water quality data provided by the town of Hempstead's laboratory are not reliable.
Martens said the FDA warned it would effectively prevent the sale of all New York shellfish products in interstate commerce unless the area was closed.
A town spokesman says Hempstead will work with the DEC to re-test the water.
A DEC spokeswoman says Hempstead Bay shellfish accounted for less than 1 percent of all shellfish landed in the state in 2009.