Toxic algae bloom forces shutdown of some Maine shellfishing

MACHIASPORT, Maine (AP) — Maine is shutting down shellfish harvesting in parts of the state’s eastern coast because of a marine algae bloom that can carry a neurotoxin.

The state Department of Marine Resources says it is monitoring the bloom, which carries domoic acid. Domoic acid can cause sickness, memory loss and brain damage in humans.

The Portland Press Herald reports the department found levels of domoic acid that exceeded standards in shellfish tested between Mount Desert Island and Gouldsboro.

The department is enacting a precautionary closure from Deer Isle to Machiasport. That is almost a third of Maine’s coastline.


Marine resources department spokesman Jeff Nichols says there’s no indication contaminated shellfish have made their way to consumers.