Maine's Mussel Harvest In 2016 Worst In 4 Decades

Oct 12, 2017
Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

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 6 million pounds three times. They have routinely topped 3 million pounds until 10 years ago.

The Department of Marine Resources says that a shellfish recall implemented last week has resulted in about 98 percent of the product in being surrendered.

According to the department, about 57,000 out of 58,000 pounds of mussels harvested from Frenchman Bay were destroyed this week. The shellfish tested positive for higher than allowable levels of the neurotoxin that causes amnesic shellfish poisoning.

Some 1,100 pounds of the mussels are unaccounted for.

Courtesy: University of Maine

PORTLAND, Maine - Mussels don't have noses, but they do respond to smells. That's according to new research from the University of Maine that may provide a clue to mussels' decline in the Gulf of Maine.

Tom Porter / MPBN

Maine's mussel population could be in trouble. Wild shellfish harvesters are reporting few signs of life in areas that were once teeming with blue mussels.

NANTUCKET, Mass. (AP) _ Federal officials say the first shellfish aquaculture project permitted in federal waters off the East Coast is likely to begin in the spring off of Nantucket.