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South Carolina shellfish harvesting ends May 31

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From staff reports

The 2021-2022 season for harvest of oysters, mussels, clams and all other bivalves from South Carolina’s State Shellfish Grounds and Public Shellfish Grounds will close on Tuesday, May 31, at one half hour after official sunset, according to South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) officials.

Because higher bacterial levels occur when water temperatures exceed 80 degrees Fahrenheit, shellfish harvesting during the summer months is limited to commercial harvesters who can meet rigorous handling requirements. Coastal waters will remain closed to recreational shellfish harvesting until the fall, when water temperatures begin to cool and ensure that shellfish are once again safe for harvesting and consumption. Shellfish harvesting is expected to reopen Oct. 1. Find out more about shellfish harvesting regulations at https://bit.ly/3MuxrHc.

Although shellfish harvesting is closed to the public during the summer, the South Carolina Oyster Recycling and Enhancement (SCORE) program accepts recycled oyster shells year-round. Shell recycling drop-off locations are located throughout coastal counties and at a few inland locations. Collection sites can be found online at https://bit.ly/3sKemsx or by calling SCDNR at 843-953-9397. Other types of shell, such as clams and whelks, are also accepted.

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