Maine mus­sel har­vest worst in decades

Cape Breton Post - - World -

SCAR­BOR­OUGH, Maine — Maine mus­sels are los­ing their mus­cle.

The state’s blue mus­sels are beloved by seafood fans near and far, but the size of the an­nual har­vest has dipped in re­cent years. Har­vesters col­lected less than 1.8 mil­lion pounds of mus­sel meat in 2016. That’s the low­est since 1976, when the state’s har­vesters topped a mil­lion pounds for the first time.

In the 1980s and 1990s, har­vesters topped six mil­lion pounds three times. They have rou­tinely topped three mil­lion pounds un­til 10 years ago.

The state Depart­ment of Marine Re­sources says one of the fac­tors in­flu­enc­ing the de­cline is shell­fish poi­son events that ne­ces­si­tate har­vest­ing clo­sures. There was one such event just last month.

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