Maine Expands Area Closed To Shellfish Harvesting

A shellfish harvesting ban has been expanded in Down East Maine following a harmful algae bloom that prompted a recall of some mussels last week. State officials are still trying to determine how much product was affected by the recall.

The Department of Marine Resources on Friday closed a section of the Penobscot River north of Stockton Springs and of Cobscook Bay south of Eastport to the harvesting of mussels, clams and oysters. It also expanded a precautionary harvesting ban as far north as Calais in Washington County.

Harvesting was suspended in Frenchman Bay east of Mount Desert Island on Thursday after mussels in the area tested at elevated levels of domoic acid, a neurotoxin produced by a “widespread and abundant” bloom of Pseudo-nitzschia, a marine phytoplankton. At the time, officials issued a precautionary ban from Gouldsboro to Machiasport and around Isle au Haut, Swans Island and Vinalhaven.

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