Virginia Department of Health Extends Closure of Perrin River to Shellfish Harvesting

March 7, 2017

For More Information Contact

  • Matthew LiPani, (804) 864-8236

(RICHMOND, Va.)— The Virginia Department of Health announced today that the emergency closure to shellfish harvesting established for the Perrin River on February 21, 2017 will be extended.

The closure was initiated on February 21 after a fishing boat sank releasing an unknown quantity of diesel fuel in the Perrin River.  The spill caused a large petroleum sheen on the surface of the water to travel downstream to the mouth of the river.  Due to extremely low tides in the area during the spill, shellfish were exposed to diesel fuel during this incident.  Shellfish monitoring conducted since the spill confirmed the presence of petroleum products.  Since the potential pollution hazard remains, shellfish taken from areas affected by the emergency closure should not be consumed.

The extension of the emergency closure is effective March 7, 2017, and is currently scheduled to reopen effective March 22, 2017.  The Division of Shellfish Sanitation will continue to assess the extent of the impact and conduct shellfish monitoring 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  For more information on shellfish closures, see the frequently asked questions on shellfish condemnations at