Recreational, commercial oyster season closes May 31

Brunswick, Ga.

Oyster harvesting. DNR photo.

The Coastal Resources Division (CRD) of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources today announced the annual closure of the recreational and commercial oyster harvest season, effective June 1, 2024. This seasonal closure is a critical measure to protect public health by reducing the risk of illnesses caused by shellfish-borne bacteria, which become more prevalent in warmer months.

The closure, which affects only the harvest of oysters, will remain in place until the start of the new season on Oct. 1, 2024. This annual suspension is a proactive effort to prevent bacterial infections such as Vibrio parahaemolyticus and Vibrio vulnificus, which thrive in higher water temperatures and can cause severe illness in humans. The harvest of clams will not be affected by this closure, as most clams are traditionally consumed cooked, which remediates the health hazards associated with bacteria.

“The safety and health of our residents and visitors are our top priorities,” said Dominic Guadagnoli, CRD’s head of Shellfish and Water Quality. “By closing the shellfish harvest season during the summer months, we significantly reduce the risk of bacterial infections that can occur from consuming raw or undercooked shellfish. We appreciate the cooperation of the public and the shellfish industry in adhering to these guidelines to ensure the continued health and sustainability of our coastal resources.”

CRD will continue to monitor water quality and shellfish populations throughout the closure period. The division encourages the public to stay informed about shellfish safety and to only purchase shellfish from certified dealers.

For more information, visit

About the Coastal Resources Division

The mission of the Coastal Resources Division is to balance coastal development and protection of the coast's natural assets, socio-cultural heritage and recreational resources for the benefit of present and future generations.

 View the signed administrative order

 View the official public notice