Estimated read time: Less than a minute
This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
RIVERHEAD, N.Y. (AP) — A rare die-off of about 100 diamondback turtles has led New York to temporarily ban harvesting of shellfish and gastropods in portions of Long Island.
Newsday reports (http://nwsdy.li/1ETPKui ) the turtles from Flanders Bay have washed ashore since late April. Karen Testa, founder of Turtle Rescue of the Hamptons, says the majority have been found in Riverhead. The ban affects 4,000 acres off Riverhead, Southold and Southampton.
Testa says the turtles have been sent to Cornell University for testing. The state has collected seven for necropsies.
State officials say early tests are inconclusive, but point to saxitoxin as a potential cause. It's a marine biotoxin produced by algae and eaten by shellfish that can paralyze turtles.
But experts say there are elevated levels of saxitoxin every year that don't cause die-offs.
Information from: Newsday, http://www.newsday.com
Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.