The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is re-opening areas of Georges Bank previously closed to fishermen for 22 years.

In a written statement, NOAA's Marjorie Mooney-Seus says fishermen will be able to target abundant stocks of Atlantic surfclams and ocean quahogs in Georges Bank as soon as next month.

NOAA, along with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have been monitoring the levels of naturally occurring toxins in those shellfish populations, which have been consistently below levels considered harmful to humans. The monitoring will continue as fishermen begin to harvest the surfclams and quahogs.