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Water Classifications

Shellfish Classification Trend Chart

Each year, the Bureau of Marine Water Monitoring (BMWM) updates the classification of New Jersey's coastal waters for shellfish harvesting. As the chart above shows, New Jersey has had a long history of improving the sanitary quality of its coastal waters These classifications are based on analysis of extensive sampling and pollution source surveys where actual and potential pollution sources are identified.  The classifications represent a comprehensive assessment of the sanitary quality of New Jersey's coastal waters. The water classifications are:

Classification* Description
Approved Waters that the Department has determined, pursuant to N.J.A.C. 7:12-1.3, meet the sanitary standards set forth in the NSSP Guide such that the harvest of shellfish for direct marketing is allowed.
Conditionally Approved Waters that, pursuant to N.J.A.C. 7:12-1.3, meet the definition of "Approved" when the Conditionally Approved water classification is in its open status and meet the definition of "Restricted" when the Conditionally Approved water classification is in its closed status. Conditionally Approved waters are delineated at N.J.A.C. 7:12-4.1.
Conditionally Restricted Waters that, pursuant to N.J.A.C. 7:12-1.3, meet the definition of "Restricted" when the Conditionally Restricted water classification is in its open status and meet the definition of "Prohibited" when the Conditionally Restricted water classification is in its closed status. Conditionally Restricted waters are delineated at N.J.A.C. 7:12-5.1.
Restricted Waters that, pursuant to N.J.A.C. 7:12-1.3, meet the criteria set forth in the NSSP Guide such that shellfish shall not be harvested except for depuration or relay pursuant to a permit under this chapter. Restricted waters are delineated at N.J.A.C. 7:12-3.1. 
Prohibited Waters that, pursuant to N.J.A.C. 7:12-1.3, meet the criteria set forth in the NSSP Guide such that no harvest of shellfish is allowed for direct marketing, depuration, or relay. Prohibited waters are delineated at N.J.A.C. 7:12-2.1.
Suspended Waters where the harvest of shellfish is suspended pending the establishment by rulemaking of the appropriate classification.

*New Jersey shellfish waters are classified in accordance with N.J.A.C. 7:12-1.3; the Department shall suspend or restrict shellfish waters in accordance with N.J.A.C. 7:12-1.4.

Maps of Shellfish Classifications of New Jersey's Coastal Waters
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Last Updated: November 4, 2016

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