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Long Island News

Town of Oyster Bay sues a local shellfishing company

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The Town of Oyster Bay on Long Island has filed a lawsuit to stop a shellfishing company from clamming in a local estuary.

The town is seeking a temporary restraining order to halt the transport of clams in Mill Neck Creek, an estuary between Bayville and Mill Neck, to parts of Oyster Bay harbor for harvesting, between May 24 and Sept. 1.

The lawsuit filed on Monday is against Frank M. Flower and Sons. The private shellfishing company has been leasing fishing areas in the town for over 135 years. It also targets the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, who approved the company's permits.

According to court filings, the disruption of these waters will have irreversible impacts on clam stock.

The permits allow Flower and Sons to transport shellfish for up to 80 hours a week, and harvest them after 60 days of being untouched in the harbor.

According to the state, this harvesting method has been used for decades, and any disruption it causes sediments in the estuary are able to heal within a few hours.