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Breezy Kid

Contaminated Clam Bait?

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Found a yellow tag on the beach today from Triton Clam Co. of Pleasant Beach NJ. The tag says that the clams are from contaminated waters and that are for bait purposes only, not for human consumption. Is it safe to feed stripers contaminated clams, especially if you keep the fish? Just wondering. :-}

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Even better- is it ethical? Do you really think any self respecting striper would feed in a prohibited shellfish harvesting area? wink.gifwink.gif

 

[This message has been edited by CRegalis (edited 06-12-2002).]

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They eat a fair amount of contaminated stuff, esp. bivalves and crabs. Those contaminants (esp. PCB's) get passed on thru food chain and there are health advisories for your local waters. My wife always wants me to bring fish home, but I'm not sure she (pregnant)and the kids (under 3) should be eating fish from NY Bight area. Sad state of affairs, but probably better regulated than 20 years ago. The problem is that many of the contaminants are cummulative in the environment, so even if we cut down on how fast they are introduced to system, they still add up. frown.gif

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If you eat any clam, you are risking eating contaminated ones. Clams clean themselves really fast, so the MO is to harvest from contaminated areas, and leave them for a 2-21 days in clean waters to purify them before selling them for food. That's the way it's done. Ya think no one ever said, I need $ today, not a month from now, let me just swap the tags and sell em?

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In NJ, shellfish that are harvested from contaminated waters are taken from waters that are likely contaminated with biological contaminants (coliform bacteria) not chemical (PCB, volatile organics, etc.). These "contaminated areas are usually adjacent the shoreline where surface runoff is a problem.

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Flukezilla is correct. It's usually because they get the clams near a sewage outfall pipe or something else like that. Bass probably eat crabs and baitfish that hang around the pipe anyway, so it's not like you're feeding them anything new.

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