Recreational shellfish harvesting: reminder notice to the public and visitors of Prince Edward Island
May 20, 2014 - Moncton, New Brunswick

Fisheries and Oceans Canada wishes to remind residents of Prince Edward Island and visitors about the regulations and potential dangers related to shellfish harvesting.

While visitors and residents alike enjoy harvesting and eating shellfish, such as clams, quahaugs and mussels, the public must verify if the areas where they plan to harvest shellfish are open. Closed shellfish areas are identified by coloured signs posted by Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

Recreational harvesters must comply with regulations and orders related to shellfish harvesting, such as area closures, daily catch limits, minimum size limits and seasons. Closures are in place to protect harvesters and the public. Offenders will be subject to prosecution.

As shellfish feed by filtering microscopic organisms from the water, harmful bacteria, viruses and biotoxins can build up in their tissues and may cause illness in people who consume affected shellfish. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Environment Canada and Fisheries and Oceans Canada work together to regularly test shellfish areas and to close them when risks are identified. Cooking shellfish does not destroy many of the toxins that may be present in a closed area.

The following table indicates the minimum length size and daily catch limits for recreational shellfish harvesting in Prince Edward Island:

This table indicates the minimum length size and daily catch limits for recreational shellfish harvesting in Prince Edward Island.

Shellfish Min. Size length Daily Catch limit
Softshell clam 50 mm  300 
Bar clam  102 mm 100
Quahag  50 mm  100
Mussel  No Restrictions 300
Razor Clam No Restrictions 300

Fisheries and Oceans Canada, whose mandate is to protect and conserve fishery resources, is vigilant in its efforts to prevent shellfish harvesting in closed areas and to protect public health.

For more information and to find out where you can harvest shellfish, contact a fishery officer in the Conservation and Protection office nearest you.

The Department is also asking the public to report poaching incidents by calling Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or by texting TIP 162 to 274637.

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For more information:
Communications Branch
Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Gulf Region

Date Modified: 2014-05-20