Massachusetts closes shellfish harvesting areas

GLOUCESTER, Mass.(AP)-The state Division of Marine Fisheries has shut down all shellfish harvesting areas 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. Regional supervisor Jeff Kennedy tells The Gloucester Daily Times the shellfishing areas will be monitored regularly.

The neurotoxins in red tide can cause paralytic shellfish poisoning, with symptoms including tingling and numbness of the lips, tongue and extremities; drowsiness; giddiness; unsteadiness, vomiting and diarrhea. In extreme cases, respiratory arrest and possibly death can result.

Local restaurants say they will bring in clams, mussels and other shellfish from outside the affected area
(Information for this story is from: Gloucester (Mass.) Daily Times, )

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