Maine officials say they will take a more cautionary approach to managing toxic algae blooms this year in the hopes of avoiding shellfish recalls.
Sudden blooms in recent years have forced the Maine Department of Marine Resources to close large sections of coast to shellfish harvesting and issue recalls of clams and mussels. The Portland Press Herald reports the department is planning more vigorous and sensitive monitoring this year, and will immediately close harvesting areas if it detects toxins.
The department is monitoring for an organism that makes domoic acid, which is a biotoxin that can cause amnesic shellfish poisoning in humans. The new approach is more conservative than the federal health limit for domoic acid, which is at or above 20 parts per million.