Aquaculture bureau adjusts operations during virus outbreak

The state Department of Agriculture Bureau of Aquaculture issued the following notice on March 16 about its status during the evolving COVID-19 virus situation:

“The Bureau would like to provide our industry, municipal shellfish commissions and partner agencies with an update on the current status of laboratory operations in Milford given the evolving Coronavirus situation. Our goal is to continue to provide services to the industry and commissions, while practicing the level of social distancing being recommended at this time.  ​

We have developed a plan to provide continuity of shellfish program services here in Connecticut given the current guidance to state offices in regards to COVID-19. We will be staggering administrative, analyst and laboratory staff so that we do not have too many people in the building at one time, while continuing to provide critical program support during the event.

Aquaculture staff will continue working in the field or remotely so that we can keep up with our routine sample collection, biotoxin monitoring, reports and data analysis. We will continue being on call for recalls, illness investigations, sewage bypass calls, DEEP emergency response calls, etc., in order to make decisions as needed during the crisis.  Non-urgent plant and shipper inspections will be put on hold for now.  ​​

At this time, we have samples coming in from shellfish commissions in the east, and bureau staff are in the process of collecting our remaining routine adverse samples for the month.  We anticipate continuing to provide laboratory services for as long as we are allowed to do so.

Michael Zuber and David Carey are in the office today, and can handle any license changes that are needed at this time. We recommend that you email or fax any changes that are needed to them and avoid coming into the office if at all possible.

Please note, if you try to call the office during this time, you may have trouble getting through.  Email is the preferred method of communication currently, and additional phone contacts are provided below.   

Please direct license changes to:

David.Carey@ct.gov

Cell:  (860) 719-1426

Michael.Zuber@ct.gov

Fax:  (203) 783-9976

F​or questions regarding sample collection or growing area status please call or email Alissa Dragan:

Alissa.Dragan@CT.gov

Cell:  (860) 818-7034

For aquaculture permitting, contact Shannon Kelly:

shannon.kelly@ct.gov

Cell: (860) 209-6360

For general program questions please call or email Kristin DeRosia-Banick:

Cell:  (203) 209-4023

Kristin.derosia-banick@ct.gov

Coronavirus resources:

  • ​For COVID-19 Information from CDC:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

  • J​ohns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center:

https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html

  • ​For the latest information about Coronivirus response in Connecticut:

https://portal.ct.gov/coronavirus

  • ​Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019:

https://www.sba.gov/page/guidance-businesses-employers-plan-respond-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19

  • ​For information regarding coronavirus and seafood safety:

The National Fisheries Institute developed a coronavirus and seafood website that addresses some potential concerns from industry and consumers. It includes detailed responses to specific questions, as well as four simple talking points.”