Clams are down, but Maine’s ready to party in their honor

Maine's clam harvest in 2017 reached its lowest point since at least 1950. —Patrick Whittle / The Associated Press

YARMOUTH, Maine (AP) — Maine’s annual celebration of edible bivalves is in full swing, even as the state’s clam harvest struggles.

The Yarmouth Clam Festival got started on Friday this year and continues until Sunday. The event began in 1965 and is free to the public.

The clam festival includes fireworks, live music, road races and lots of clams. There’s also a carnival that runs through Sunday.

Despite the festive plans, Maine’s soft-shell clam harvest has been falling in recent years. Maine clammers harvested about 1.4 million pounds of clam meat in 2017, which was the lowest total in decades. Scientists have said the decline might have to do with an increase in predators such as clams and marine worms.