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Mr. Stringer indicated he would like to make one statement with regard to work the Bureau of Commercial Fisheries has been doing with a chemical compound to control shellfish predators. He said they were reaching the stage where it was thought the chemical might be applicable in certain areas. They did not intend to recommend the use of the compound until they had discussions with the States as to where in particular areas it might be used in perfect safety.
(Note: Apologies and regrets are extended to the speakers who were unable to make their presentations due to the Workshop operating behing the anticipated schedule.)
(Mr. J. Richard Nelson's paper on the Use of Chemicals On Or Near 'Shellfish Growing Areas - An Industry Viewpoint is presented in these Proceedings as Appendix AA.)
(Mr. George Vanderborgh's paper on the Industry Viewpoint of the Use of Chemicals On Or Near Shellfish Growing Areas is presented in these Proceedings as Appendix BB.)
(Dr. Milton J. Foter's presentation on the Use of Chemicals On Or Near Shellfish Growing Areas The Public Health Service Viewpoint is included in these Proceedings as Appendix CC. Due to the illness of Dr. Foter, his paper was prepared nd was to have been presented by Dr. Herman F. Kraybill, Pesticides Program Officer, Bureau of State Services, U. S. Public Health Service, Washington, D. C.)
Mr. Gruble commented that the industry looked to the States, the Public Health Service, and those other agencies charged with protecting public waters to do an effective job. He felt that a good mon i toring program was essential and must be carried out so that it may be possible to judge what the conditions are at the present time. He indicated the industry is concerned with the increasing amounts of pesticides being used in agriculture and in the prevention of forest predators which, in one way or another, get pesticides into shellfish growing waters.
Mr. Bower indicated that he would like to make a statement for the record on behalf of the oyster industry. He said that the State people in the State of Washington have a good program for evaluating the use of pesticides, and that the Federal people had been perusing very properly and very carefully the use of pesticides for predator control on oyster beds. He wished to reiterate the industry's desire that the Federal Review Board be very cautious in authorizing or helping finance any spraying of uplands without very careful consideration being given to the effect on marine lands where the run-off will affect them. He also suggested that if possible any experimental program such as the Hemlock project in the State of Washington should be handled with a more objective reporting of the results. It was indicated the program took place some time ago and a report on the actual effects is not available. The report is in the Washington State Department of Natural Resources. He said he hoped that the Federal people as well as any of the State people who have any thing to do with it, would lean the other way and be careful that water resources are not damaged.
Mr. Gruble pointed out that the Workshop had sufficient time if Mr. Kelly wanted to conclude the Workshop with his report on the Shellfish Sanitation Centers.
Mr. Kelly commented that he would not impose his thoughts on research on the Workshop at this time as he thought most of those present were acquainted with the research program, and if not, he urged them to visit the Centers. He offered, however, to answer any questions about the research program.
There being no further questions, Mr. Gruble adjourned the 1964 National Sanitation Workshop at 3:06 p.m.
Harry G. Hanson, Assistant Surgeon General
Bureau of State Services
Public Health Service
For the Surgeon General, for the Public Health Service, for all of us who are interested in the subject of shellfish sanitation, I welcome you to the Fifth National Shellfish Sanitation Workshop. I want to particularly welcome our Canadian and Japanese colleagues here with us today. Their presence lends an international flavor which is most gratifying. Whatever we can do to make your visit with us pleasant, we wish to do.
At the previous Workshop in 1961 the attendance was 148. I am told that the registration so far this time is over 160. The fact that so many of you are concerned with shellfish sanitation problems, and have responded so well to our invitation, is indeed heartening to us.
Ninteen sixty-four is the 40th year of the operation of the shellfish Sanitation Program. This fact reflects well the durability and soundness of the original program concepts. Although shellfish sanitation problems continue on the increase, I am certain that perseverance and cooperative effort will enable us all to find the answers.
We believe these Workshop meetings are important because they provide a forum in which effective program guidelines may be established. These guides are useful and necessary. Prior to the last Workshop, there were two serious hepatitis outbreaks which were associated with the consumption of shellfish. Again, prior to this workshop, we have learned of two more serious hepatitis outbreaks attributed to the eating of shellfish. These outbreaks indict the product, cause consumers to suffer, and result in considerable economic loss to the industry through the loss of consumer confidence in the product.
I hope that all participants here today will view the program changes which are to be recommended in this workshop as being in the total interest of everyone concerned with the program and especially of the consuming public. It is also my fervent hope that this workshop will try to devise ways and means of preventing further such outbreaks.
Such unfortunate incidents not only cause a loss of consumer confidence and result in adverse publicity, they also may give rise to a questioning attitude toward the basic concepts of the program itself. I personally believe that there is the talent and know-how in this room to prevent more of these outbreaks, and I hope we will be able to do just that in the future. You can be assured that the Service wants to do its part.
In the development of the Cooperative State-PHS-Industry Certification Program, the States and the industry have accepted the mutual responsibility of assuring effective sanitary control of shellfish production. The entire program depends upon how well this responsibility is carried out. The responsibilities of the Public Health Service under the program are to assure that state programs are operating satisfactorily and that they merit Public Health Service endorsement.
In actual practice, the foregoing means that the Service must review each State program annually. It is expected that all the States will continue to cooperate fully with us in these reviews, and that each State will carefully document its shellfish program as to leave no doubt that our endorsement is warranted. If the State programs are defective, and if defects are not reported and corrected, the whole program is jeopardized, because the entire cooperative program is based on the fundamental concept of mutual confidence. The fact that we must all operate with full and complete exchange of information is central to the development of an awareness of the true status of the entire control effort.
Speaking for myself, and as an official of the Public Health Service, I do not believe we should be a party to a voluntary Cooperative Program unless we have every confidence that there is a sincere and frank exchange of information in each State concerned, and that this exchange is on a fully cooperative basis. This is another reason we believe conferences of this type are so important. Here is where we lay the problems on the table, openly discuss them, dissect them and, if you will, hopefully work out mutually agreeable measures.
I would like to recall something Dr. Anderson said at the 1961 Workshop. That is: "I do not want to feel that the Public Health Service is putting interstate certification tags on shipments of shellfish moving from one State to another--in effect, giving shipments a Public Health Service stamp of approval--if I have any knowledge that program people in our Regional Offices or the industry or the States feel there is a danger to public health. To do this jeopardizes the public and will damage the good name of everyone concerned in the program."
At the last Workshop, Dr. Anderson also had the pleasure of telling you that the Congress had just appropriated funds for the establishment of two new shellfish sanitation research centers; one to be located at Narragansett, Rhode Island, and the other to be located at Dauphin Island, Alabama. As most of you have learned by now, these facilities have been constructed and are now functioning. Later in this workshop you will hear status reports on the activities under way in these Centers, and on activities conducted in the research facility we operate with the Washington State Department of Health at Purdy, Washington. I am confident that these three facilities will contribute in substantial measure to the effectiveness of the program.
| also note from the program that there will be a discussion of the depuration process in the safeguarding of shellfish sanitary qaality. We have long needed a means of purifying shellfish--which, as you know, frequently is consumed raw--some new process, perhaps comparable in effect to the pasteurization of milk or the safeguarding of municipal water supplies. While depuration, like many other processes is not perfect, it nevertheless should be encouraged as a public health measure offering additional protection to the consumer. I hope the subject will have adequate consideration in the plans of each State in the future.
You will be interested to learn that the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare is on record as declaring that the Shellfish Sanitation Program needs additional strengthening. This declaration is found in an "Analysis of Current Problems and Proposed Corrective Actions'' submitted by the Department to the House Subcommittee on Fisheries and Wildlife Conservation of the House Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee.
The Analysis reports that this 1964 Workshop is to be held and that, through the Workshop, technical or administrative changes needed in the program will be determined. The Analysis also points out the need for a National Register of Shellfish Growing Areas and states that we hope to have such a register fully operational by fiscal year 1966. The Analysis further indicates that there also is a need for the correlation of shellfish sanitation and pollution prevention abatement objectives, both at the State and the Federal level, and that more effort is needed to assure that shellfish imported from other countries is equal in sanitary quality to domestic products.
I sincerely hope this workshop will be successful in working out the many administrative and technical problems facing the industry. I am sure that it will be productive; and, although we may not solve all of our problems today, the important thing is that we get started and approach them in a spirit of cooperation. May success crown our endeavors.
INDUSTRY STATUS REPORT
Elizabeth M. Wallace
We, the industry members are here to deliberate with the various state agencies and the Public Health Service to tailor the Shellfish Sanitation Program to the current needs of the molluscan industry. That modifications are needed, or that re-evaluation is necessary, should not be a surprise to anyone. In this world the greatest constant is change. To fail and to fail to adjust to these changes in any realm of our endeavors is to be obsolete.
The threatening prime factor in our business is the long, continuing, and recently precipitous decline in the all over production of clams and oysters. With demand exceeding the supply, there is a temptation to take species from uncertified waters or to otherwise short circuit the regulations established to guarantee a safe food. Unfortunately, our inquiries reveal that this decline will continue, in this year at least. But it need not be so forever. Advances in molluscan culture can be accelerated -launched by the emerging knowledge of the therapeutic values of molluscan meats. We can here and now resolve to face the current difficulties, solve them, and at the same time prepare for a splendid future.
Why can't we frustrate those who are unscrupulous to attempt to sell polluted shellfish? with the knowledge of our waters and of the habits of our neighbors, the industry as a partner with the State agencies can forbid markets to these opportunists. At the same time let us improve the quality of producing waters or remove the shellfish from those waters. The South Jersey Shellfishermen's Association organized themselves to do just this. Even more, they are making a frontal assault on the sources of domestic pollution and by persuasion and political pressure, leading the various municipalities to rectify local sources of contamination. Maryland, having been caught by encroaching pollution met the disaster to the oyster industry when Governor Tawes appointed an Expediting Committee, of which our own president was a leading member, which organized all of the concerned State agencies and the industry itself to eradicate the major source of pollution with sufficient success to reclaim as a right now 70 percent of the aquatic resource. We hope these beneficial trends continue in all of the States and all take heed of what happened in Maryland and not let it happen to them. We hope these beneficial trends continue. With our membership in 20 coastal States and distributing members in many interior ones, we request and indeed insist that the needs of the shellfisheries be included in the comprehensive planning of the uses of estuarian waters. We are ready right here and now to do whatever is needed to upgrade water pollution control to a position of sufficient stature to achieve results.
We were happy to hear the remarks that this has been launched and is progressing, and we pledge our wholehearted cooperation to these endeavors.
Our group, of course, is not the only group dedicated to the proposition that the water problem of this country must be resolved at a more accelerated rate than has been accomplished in the past.
One other aspect of the current trend is the shifting of the distribution patterns of shellfish. In general, as the supply has dwindled in the North, they have been supplanted by shellfish coming up from the South. The expanding distance between the growing waters and the eventual markets with the gypsy transport freighter, this, too, must claim our attention because the temperature factors involved in the operation work inversely to follow heat controls.
We support and urge State agencies to rigidly survey--have a surveillance program of all shellfish coming into their State, so that we will create economic pressure whereby we cannot afford to be negligent in this area of quality control.
The minimum wage hour law has worked hardships in certain States, putting additional pressure on the industry to buy the cheapest product possible. We are working hard to find better ways and means of opening shellfish to help alleviate this situation. We having the privilege of supplying a wonderfully nutritious food to the consumer, we must assume the responsibility of cooperating together with all the agencies to make the Shellfish Sanitation Programa successful.