Shellfish Harvesting Banned in MA

The Boston Globe reports that shellfish harvesting will be banned along the Massachusetts coast from the New Hampshire border to the Bourne-Sandwich town line due to the presence of a red tide. The term “red tide” refers to periods of time when dinoflagellate (single-celled algae) densities in the water reach levels so high the water appears rust red. Of concern are those dinoflagellates that produce toxins (in this case, it appears to be an outbreak ofAlexandrium spp.). Shellfish such as mussels and clams filter the dinoflagellates from the water as food; however, the toxins are not broken down by the animals and instead accumulate in their tissues. Several classes of toxins produced by the dinoflagellates can cause severe health problems in humans and marine mammals. To learn more visit or