June 5, 2014
In the first widespread local closure since 2011, the state Division of Marine Fisheries Wednesday shut down all shellfish harvesting areas stretching from Newbury to Gloucester because of elevated levels of the marine biotoxin commonly known as red tide.
The closure, which includes the harvesting of all species of shellfish, is likely to last for a minimum of three weeks, according to Jeff Kennedy, regional shellfish supervisor at DMF’s Annisquam River Marine Fisheries Field Station.
“We will be monitoring weekly, and we will need three descending counts in the levels (of the red tide) to re-open these areas,” Kennedy said Wednesday afternoon.
According to DMF, red tide is the name used to describe “a bloom in marine waters of single-cell microscopic algae which contain both red pigments and harmful neurotoxins.”