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Marine Fisheries

Shellfish Sanitation Laboratory

The Shellfish Sanitation and Recreational Water Quality Section have three microbiology laboratories on the coast to meet the needs of the sampling programs and timeframes for testing procedures. One is located in Morehead City at the main office and the other two at field office sites in Wilmington and Nags Head.

The laboratories provide for all analyses required to meet program objectives for the National Shellfish Sanitation Program and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agencies BEACH's Act. All three laboratories are certified by U.S. Food and Drug Administration for compliance with NSSP requirements. All laboratory analyses for the bacteriological survey for the shellfish sanitation program are performed in our laboratories. Annually more than 10,000 water samples are tested in each lab. The laboratory is inspected by the United States Food and Drug Administration for compliance with National Shellfish Sanitation Program requirements.

Images: Samples being tested. The laboratories are responsible for the bacteriological testing of: recreational waters; shellfish growing waters; shellfish meat samples - both growing areas and market products; potable water; and crustacea products. Tests performed include: fecal coliform, E. coli , enterococcus, total coliform, standard plate count, and monitoring for Kariena brevis (red tide).

N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries • 3441 Arendell Street • Morehead City, NC 28557 • 252-726-7021 or 800-682-2632

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