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Mr. Loring said it was the Industries view that the present certification program can be accepted by all parties, the Federal agencies, State agencies and the industry-in principle. It was suggested, however, that the present program could meet the problem if it were properly implemented and that it would appear foolhardy to discard this concept when it had proved itself effective in all but a minute portion of the total industry. It was indicated that as far as is known, depuration will be prohibittively expensive and could conceivably put a large segment of the industry out of business. It was further indicated, however, that economic hardship should not be used as a factor for it should not exist where public health is concerned. It was stated that the present program does not resolve two major problems; (1) continual loss of certified areas; and (2) the continued temptation to exploit existing population of contaminated shellfish. With regard to problem (1) above, it was indicated the industry was doing all they could to strengthen the Federal anti-pollution laws and that the Public Health Service and other governmental agencies must do all they can. It was suggested that continued loss of clean shellfish areas may not be as true as in the past. An example, that Westchester County shore in New York State might be opened next year after being closed for forty years, was cited. It was stated that New York has not closed any major areas in the past two to three years, but that Maryland had closed 18,000 acres this past summer. Improved conditions will permit reopening all but 20% of this acreage in the near future. Mr. Loring further noted that relaying programs as pioneered by New York and Rhode Island proved to be sound and effective and that relaying constitutes the most positive action that can be taken at this time. It was also indicated that by relaying, the temptation to harvest shellfish from contaminated areas can be eliminated. It was noted that contaminated products which cannot be transplanted might be poisoned as a last resort.
Mr. Loring said that the depuration process has only been successful with soft clams, and that it is commercially feasible only because desanding takes place at the same time as depuration. He advocated a pilot depuration program be under taken so that observations might be made of the results, and so that depuration may be properly evaluated under varying conditions of seasonal change and geographic location. He further pointed out that strict vigilance would still have to be maintained over contaminated areas because depuration, by creating a more expensive product, might encourage bootlegging. This process, like the certification program, is based on public confidence. Mr. Loring urged closer interagency communication and more effective cooperation as regards water surveillance and review. With regard to illegal harvesting, Mr. Loring recommended a central landing area for certification in conjunction with the existing program. Such an operation would check shellfish as it comes ashore at specific sites. An officer of the State could stamp the tags as approved upon rating the product. This would permit an easement in taking sanitary samples, and would lay the basis for some strigent laws that any shellfish not passing through these legally controlled points be subject to immediate confiscation. It was suggested a fee or tax could be placed on each bushel landed to help defray the additional cost and great mechanical problems which this sort of program would entail. It was further suggested that Federal funds be used--on a matching basis with the States--to help them improve their law enforcement and for technical assistance, as the States are unable to do the policing of the certification program without additional help. Another suggestion by Mr. Loring was that more stringent fines and jail sentences are needed to combat illegal harvesting. In summary, he proposed the following seven points:
1. The Public Health Service Certification Program can work.
Pollution control and abatement should be pushed harder.
3. Relaying programs should remove contaminated populations wherever possible.
4. That depuration be tested and researched.
Central landing areas for certification be established.
6. Drastic action be taken against persons caught removing shellfish from
Federal assistance be made available to the States in their policing programs.
(Mr. Loring's complete statement is included in these Proceedings as Appendix J.)
At the close of Mr Loring's paper, Mr. Gilbertson noted that having heard a variety of points of view on depuration, it might be in order to ask the participants if they wished to comment or to ask questions of those who had discussed the subject.
Mr. Schieferstein, Huntington, New York, Baymen's Association, said the cause of the problem should be attacked, and read the following prepared statement:
1. "All disposal plants should be periodically checked to see that they are
running properly. People in charge should be fined and lose their jobs
"As this also involves interstate commerce, Federal laws should be to
3. "Our food product will be important to future generations for survival.
Disposing of waste in the water would be the cheapest and casiest way out but we can't afford to continue polluting our waters.
If this is kept up you won't have a fish left that is fit to eat, or a beach fit to bathe in. Even today the world is depending more and more on the sea and its products. Witness the Russian and Japanese fleets fishing off our shores and overcrowded nations like India with their protein-deficient diets. What is going to happen when U.S. farms can't produce enough to';feed the population? Let's start now to leave our future generations some thing decent to look forward to. Don't penalize the honest men who are trying to do a good job. Step up law enfor cement at all levels! Envorce the law against the factories that are destroying our inland waters with their chemical waste and against the towns and cities which are not doing their job. Clamp down on the cause! Put the bootleggers of illegal shellfish behind bars, or better yet, hang them!! Then we will all have a better world to live in.“
Mr. Bob Bower, representing the Pacific Oyster Growers Association and the Olympia Oyster Growers Association, said that his associations agreed with Mr. Wallace's and the Oyster Institute's position but that he would like to point out that the desirable multiple use of waters, if pursued, would require a depuration facility for each commercial shellfish producer. Further, that it is the responsibility of Federal and State governments to assist in the collection of any human sewage which is now or may in the future be detrimental to many uses of our public water system. Once collected, these discharges should be treated to an extent that they will no longer pose a public health problem. Such a program in a long range view would be by far the most economical and would be in accord with the National Creed which was adopted in 1960 which said: "Prevention of pollution is just as important as control."
Mr. George Harrison, representing the Chesapeake Seafood Industries Association, first congratulated Mr. Wallace and Mr. Loring for their statements, and then indicated that in listening to the speakers from Florida, Massachusetts, Maine, and Rhode Island, he felt each had proven a little more that we don't know enough about depuration. Mr. Harrison indicated that he believed we had no other course of action than to further study the problem and find out exactly where we are going.
There being no further discussion on the subject of depuration at this time, Mr. Gilbertson, as Chairman, recessed the meeting for lunch at 1:05 p.m.
(Note: Although the Agenda indicates that Mr. C. B. Kelly, Public Health Service, was to present a "Status Report on Depuration by the Public Health Service", the Workshop at this point was operating behind schedule, consequently Mr. Kelly's "Status Report" was rescheduled for the Thursday afternoon portion of the program.
Tuesday Afternoon November 19, 1964
Mr. Dana Wallace, Chairman
The Tuesday afternoon session of the Workshop was called to order at 2:00 p.m. by the Chairman, Mr. Dana Wallace. Mr. Wallace pointed out that the program called for Mr. Ronald Green, Commissioner, Maine Department of Sea and Shore Fisheries, to be Chairman for this session. Unfortunately, Mr. Green was unable to be present so that Mr. Wallace substituted inasmuch as he represented the same organization.
Mr. Wallace indicated that, at the close of the morning session, there had been some discussion of the depuration process, and it was thought advisable to carry on a bit more with these discussions. He then called on Mr. Eugene Jensen.
Mr. Jensen said he had talked with several Workshop participants since the morning discussion, and in comparing his recommendations contained in his talk, (Depuration - The National Pos ture) with those of Mr. Loring and other individuals representing the industry, there seemed to be little argument between the two groups in principle, but there may be some disagreement as to when". He proposed that the Workshop go on record as essentially endorsing the recommendations made by Mr. Loring as representing the shellfish industry. He then read the following as reworded from Mr. Loring's presentation:
That the Cooperative State-Industry Shellfish Certification Program can work.
That pollution control and abatement efforts should be pushed harder.
That relaying programs be used to remove contaminated shellfish populations wherever possible.
4. That depuration be tested and researched.
5. That central landing areas be established for certified shellfish wherever
That drastic action be taken against persons moving shellfish from polluted areas.
That Federal assistance be made available to the State for their policing
An unidentified speaker suggested that No. 6 above be changed to say, "unauthorized persons removing shellfish from polluted areas." Mr. Jensen agreed to this proposal.
Another un identified speaker pointed out that recommendation No. 5, above, may work in some States but not in Maryland. Mr. Jensen indicated it would be even more impractical in the State of Louisiana and for that reason we should add, 'Where practical;,'' and that our record of these proceedings will show that we do realize there are areas where this simply is some thing that we ought to do. There are places where it would work quite nicely and would add a substantial confidence factor to the program
Mr. George Allen, representing the Alabama Department of Conservation, indicated that, regarding the recommendations on Federal assistance, it would be found that most agencies do not want Federal assistance in carrying out their program of law enforcement. The problem he said, is not so much the apprehension of violations, but the failure to get convictions in court. If you can get a public relations program going--the judge is dependent upon his electorate--that will convince the public--that if dealing in illegal shellfish is as violent and heinous a crime as we like to think it is, you will be giving the enforcement agencies the most assistance that you can give them. However, as far as having Federal help in enforcing it, "no thank you."
Mr. Gilbertson raised the question of Federal aid in policing areas as he personally objected to the word 'policing" and wondered if it is what was really intended. Mr. Jensen said he viewed "policing" as marine patrol.
Mr. Loring said he did not want to say they wanted Federal officers patrolling State areas but they were thinking primarily of financial assistance to improve policing methods such as radar techniques, fas ter boats, etc. Further, he did not want to infer that the industry wanted Federal officials patrolling the areas.
After some further discussion as to the need for Federal assistance in No. 5, it was Mr. Jensen's suggestion that he and Mr. Loring get together that evening and attempt to resolve the wording of Items 5 and 7. This arrangement was agreed to by the Workshop participants.
Relationship to Pollution Abatement
Mr. Wesley E. Gilbertson, Chief, Division of Environmental Engineering and Food Protection presented a paper, "Pollution Control and Water Quality Objectives". In his talk Mr. Gilbertson stressed the absolute need for maintaining satisfactory sanitary qual i ty at all times in those areas from which shellfish are harvested and prepared for market, and traced the histroy of the shellfish sanitation program in periods of presewers, sewers, sewers plus rapid population growth, and sewers plus treatment plants plus population growth.
Mr. Gilbertson noted several sources of possible contamination of shellfish growing areas in addition to effluent from sewage treatment plants. These were wash-off from cities after rains, run-off from agricultural areas and forests, sewage disposal from commercial and pleasure boats. It was suggested that corrective devices for disposal of was tes from pleasure craft should be required by State or Federal law.
It was indicated that a new section was added to the Interstate Quarantine Regulations in August of 1960 which restricts the discharge of sewage, ballast or bilge water from vessels within a three-mile radius of some 150 potable public water supply intakes in the Great Lakes. It was further noted that the Public Health Service in 1960 established an Interdepartmental Committee on Sewage and was te Disposal from vessels concerned with sewage discharges in local harbors, the intercoastal waterways, and the inland rivers. The Committee has met five times and has arrived at a recommendation that all new vessels, or vessels undergoing major conversion subject to the regulations should be provided with sewage treatment or retention facilities. The regulations are being amended at this time to encompass the recommendations and will become effective in early 1965.
Concern with the chemical was tes, which includes radioactive materials, pesticides, and was te chemicals from industry, was expressed. It was pointed out that we have entered a new and more complicated period in that shellfish growing water criteria can no longer be defined solely in terms of microbiological parameters.
It was indicated that the shellfish industry now seems fully aware that pollution is the major problem facing it and that the Division of Environmental Engineering and Food Protection has given a great deal of thought to the problem and has held numerous conferences on the subject with the Division of Water Supply and Pollution Control and the Division of Radiological Health. As a result of these conferences and past experience, Mr. Gilbertson suggested the following:
1. We need to formulate precise definitions of water quality criteria, including
those elements of sewage system design which will determine the effectiveness of the system in terms of water quality objectives, as related to shellfish needs.
2. We need to make a determined effort to see that water pollution control
agencies and design engineers understand the water quality criteria of the shellfish program.
3. We need to see that the water quality needs of the shellfish program receive
proper recognition in long range water pollution control planning or water resource planning.
4. We need to support and encourage programs for the prevention and abatement
5. We need to support programs at the State and Federal levels which will insure
that was te treatment plants are operated in accordance with the designed goals
Mr. Gilbertson also discussed depuration. In general, it was his view that the Public Health Service technical goal should be to require all shellfish which might be consumed raw to be submitted to such a process before marketing. It constitutes a consumer-protective device, he said, which seems to be the only feasible way to maintain a satisfactory confidence factor in the Cooperative Program. (Mr. Gilbertson's complete paper is included as Appendix K).
Advances in Oyster Culture
Mr. David Wallace, Director of Marine Fisheries, State of New York Conservation Department, using photographic slides, presented a paper on "Advances in Oyster Culture". Mr. Wallace indicated that there had been a gradual decline in oyster production along the entire east coast of the United States starting in 1900. This has caused industry and State conservation agencies to evaluate their conservation practices and to conclude that new techniques of oyster culture must be developed and perfected. One problem has been lack of production of seed oysters; however, new seed-growing techniques developed in the last five years show great promise. Early previous investigators suggested the use of salt ponds for seed production. Recently, commercial production of seed on culch suspended above the bottom has progressed rapidly in a salt pond at Fishers Island, New York. In this pond the Ocean Pond Corporation has scallop and oyster shells strung on wires and hung beneath styrofoam rafts while the larvae are in the free-swimming state. They have collected sets averaging fifteen spat per shell. The first commercial highcount seed (3,000-5,000 per bushol) was sold to Connecticut and New York oyster farmers in 1963. Using the same method in 1964, they have sold the entire crop of 7,500 bushels. This success has stimulated other efforts as the demand for seed exceeds the supply in New England. The New York State Conservation Department, working with the town of Southampton and local baymen has produced substantial quantities of seed this summer in a salt pond called Mecox Bay. Salinity in this pond is maintained at the appropriate level by opening or closing the ocean barrier beach. The pond is kept closed when the larvae are in the water. It is estimated that at least ten ponds suitable for growing seed commercially exist in New England. If each produced 5,000 bushels per year, good start would be made toward a solution of the seed problem.
Another method is in a commercial hatchery technique developed through studies at the U.S. Fisheries Laboratory at Milford, Connecticut, and later pursued in studies by Mr. Joseph Glancy of West Sayville, New York. Three seed hatcheries using the Glancy method operated during the summer of 1964. The method was pioneered by the Bluepoints Company who have used it to produce several thousand bushels of seed annually for the past five years. The hatchery technique holds great promise for the future.
Mr. Wallace predicted that ultimately we will be able to produce seed under completely controlled conditions, be able to eliminate diseases and predators, reduce materially the time between spawning and marketing mature oysters, and produce a "fat" product free of pathogens. (Mr. Wallace's complete paper is included in these Proceedings as Appendix L.)
Coastal Surveillance & Security Control Radar as an Automation Aid to Public Health & Conservation in the Shellfish Industry
Mr. Roy J. Mitchell, Executive Vice President, Decca Radar, Inc., gave a talk entitled "Decca Coastal Surveillance and Security Control Radar as an Automation Aid to Public Health and Conservation in the Shellfish industry'. Mr. Mitchell defined radar as a radio eye without a human short-range capacity for detail, but with many other advantages, especially over longer distances and in conditions of poor visibility. It was said radar can automatically, simultaneously, and continuously, survey an area and present the result centrally, as one complete, readily intelligible picture.