Shellfishing has been banned along large portions of the Massachusetts coast because of toxic red tide, state officials said.
The state Division of Marine Fisheries on Thursday banned harvesting of all softshell and razor clams, the Gloucester Daily Times reported Friday. That ban came the day after the harvest of blue mussels, carnivorous snails and whole sea scallops was prohibited because of elevated levels of paralytic shellfish poison, also known as red tide.
The red tide affecting Massachusetts is different from the type killing fish in Florida, and swimming remains safe, Gloucester shellfish warden Peter Seminara said.
Red tide is a neurotoxin produced by naturally occurring marine algae. “Filter-feeding shellfish ingest it and it gets concentrated in the meat,” he said.