Last night, June 2nd, 12 Midnight EST, Boston PBS affiliate WGBH-TV (Channel 2 in Boston) broadcast its public affairs program "Greater Boston" with Emily Rooney.
The topic was the Red Tide issue.
One of the guests was Steve Woodman, of Woodman’s of Essex, who ststes that their clams are now being purchased from Canada, to avoid any of these issues.
The other guest, whose name I do not recall, was from Woods Hole Oceanagraphic Institute, and he claimed that currently, there are enough toxins created by this red tide that a human could be killed by eating a SINGLE clam.
Both men wanted the public to appreciate the fact that this is shellfish only-meaning clams, scallops, and oysters….and not lobsters, crabs, and shrimp.
Unfortunatly, the website has not posted the webcast of this program at this time-it probably will be posted next week.
It was front page news in the local paper today. Prices are not up yet because lower demand is matching the lower supply. Memorial day supplies were ok. The 4th of July is the biggest clam eating day of the year. It was not in the story, but people worry about eating clams dug from "closed" beds at night. The industry does a very good job at catching poachers, and wholesalers are required to keep detailed records as to where clams come from, and where they are sold. Update 12:30 local… I just had fried clams at Scales, in Millbury, MA. Randy tells me that Ipswich Shellfish Co raised his clam prices today by about $10 a gallon. He expects it to go up more soon, because the local weather is going to be beautiful this weekend and all the places at the beach will be selling lots of clams.
The current issue of National Geographic has an article about the pollution of the Chesapeake Bay that was very interesting.
It described how many of the watermen are now working in prisons and such and crabs have to be flown in from the Gulf Coast to some areas.
I hope it can get turned around.
Something I have not seen with a firm answer is what the red tide does to the shellfish. I know we can’t eat them, but are they ok? When the closed areas are open, will they still be there? For the clams, is red tide alge just food?
This also means that you’re not gonna see a lot of clams on the North Shore this summer, because most of the clam shacks use only local shellfish, and the Clam Box at least simply stops serving clams when they can’t get them locally. Something to keep in mind if your summer plans involve a trip to Ipswich.
Worst outbreak since 1972.
Prices are probably going to increase.
Red Tide outbreak to hurt NE shellfish industry
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