Virginia Department of Health Closes Perrin River to Shellfish Harvesting

February 21, 2017

For More Information Contact

  • Matthew Lipani, (804) 864-8236

(RICHMOND, Va.)— The Virginia Department of Health announced today that the Perrin River will be closed to shellfish harvesting due to the release of an unknown quantity of diesel fuel from a sunken vessel.

A large petroleum sheen was reported on the surface of the water traveling downstream to the mouth of the river.  Due to extremely low tides in the area, shellfish may have been exposed to diesel fuel during the event.   Due to potential pollution hazards, shellfish taken from areas affected by the emergency closure are currently unacceptable for consumption.

The emergency closure is effective February 21, 2017, and the area is currently scheduled to reopen effective March 8, 2017.  The Division of Shellfish Sanitation will be assessing the extent of the impact, and will be monitoring the shellfish and water quality during this period to determine when the area can be safely reopened.

Maps of the affected areas are posted on the Division of Shellfish Sanitation’s home page at  The affected shellfish are bivalve mollusks including oysters and clams, but not crabs or finfish.

For more information on shellfish closures, see the frequently asked questions on shellfish condemnations at