- Associated Press - Friday, June 20, 2014

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - State officials say parts of the Maine coast have been closed to shellfishing due to a mild red tide bloom.

The Portland Press Herald (https://bit.ly/1ptgX2K ) reports Friday that some clam flats from South Berwick to Harpswell were shut down to softshell clam harvesting. The paper reports the Scarborough-Biddeford basin and Casco Bay were not affected. State officials say several Harpswell flats were affected.

Red tide occurs when a species of phytoplankton blooms, which releases a neurotoxin. Eating shellfish affected by red tide can cause paralytic shellfish poisoning.

Department of Marine Resources Bureau of Health Director Kohl Kanwit told the Press Herald she expects the closure for softshell clams could be lifted by next week.

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