Maine Closes Mud Flats, Issues Clam Recall after Neurotoxin Discovered

Oct 4, 2016

BANGOR, Maine - The Maine Department of Marine Resources has closed the entire Downeast region's mud flats after routine tests detected the presence of a marine neurotoxin that could affect softshell clams, mussels and mahogany quahogs.

Jeff Nichols, a DMR spokesman, said the department has issued a recall on clams harvested between Sept. 25 through Sept. 30, and that the mudflat closure affects all shellfish harvesting areas between Otter Point on Mt. Desert Island east to the Canadian border.

"We're very confident that through the recall and through the closure that we've taken all of the necessary steps to prevent any of the impacted shellfish from entering the supply chain," Nichols said.  "We definitely take it seriously."

Although no cases of sickness have been reported, Nichols said anyone who has eaten clams harvested during the time period in question should contact a health care provider if they believe they are experiencing symptoms associated with amnesic shellfish poisoning. Those symptoms include gastro-intestinal distress, seizures, weakness and paralysis.