Something good is happening at Georges Bank, a large area off the coast of Massachusetts that separates the Gulf of Maine from the Atlantic Ocean. After 22 years, some 6,000 square miles of the sea floor recently reopened for surf clam and ocean quahog fishing.
Together, the two bivalve species comprise a multimillion-dollar fishery along the East Coast. Surf clams, which are used in clam strips and chowders, are the mostimportant commercial clam species harvested in the United States. Quahogs are typically used in chowders, too.
The area is too large and remote for routine monitoring, so back in 1990, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended closing it after clams were found to contain a naturally occurring toxin in levels that exceeded regulatory limits. The toxin is produced by Alexandrium fundyense, a single-celled organism that in highconcentrations can form harmful algal blooms such as New England red tide. NCCOS partner Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and partners provided the science behind the reopening.
via Shellfisheries Reopen at Georges Bank, Massachusetts | NOS feature story
Note: This feature story is based on news first reported last December.