Brookhaven town Bay Constables issued summonses against a group of people they said were illegally harvesting oysters from Mount Sinai Harbor. Officials suspect the group was harvesting for use in a restaurant upstate.
On Tuesday, July 28 Brookhaven Bay Constables were patrolling Mount Sinai Harbor by boat and observed approximately eight people harvesting oysters. They radioed a senior bay constable who was on shore patrol to respond to a road ending where these individuals were. The constables found that the group had approximately 100 oysters in their possession and issued a summons for taking shellfish from uncertified waters.
A town spokesperson said bay constables had been alerted to several incidents of illegal shellfishing over the past several weeks in Mount Sinai Harbor, where the taking of shellfish is prohibited by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation from May 1 through October 31.
The town said the vehicle the group were travelling in was registered to Wasabi and Ginger Sushi Restaurant in Larchmont.
Town Supervisor Ed Romaine (R) said in a release that taking shellfish from uncertified waters can be a health risk, and he urged state and Westchester county officials track the oyster robbery back to the restaurant “to investigate the restaurant these individuals were associated with to ensure that the food they are serving is safe for the public.”
Brookhaven Town operates one of Long Island’s largest municipal shellfish hatcheries in Mount Sinai Harbor, growing more than 2,000,000 oysters and 1,000,000 clams at the mariculture facility. These shellfish are planted in bays and harbors throughout the town when they reach maturity to help clean local waters and revive local fisheries.
“Our harbors, bays and waterways are tremendous assets, and part of the reason so many of us call Brookhaven our home,” Romaine added.