Maine governor seeks red tide aid

Posted July 17, 2009, at 3:16 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. John Baldacci is asking Maine’s congressional delegation to explore emergency aid options to assist the state’s shellfish industry in the wake of extensive red tide and flood closures.

Baldacci’s office said Friday that officials at the Maine Department of Marine Resources think adverse conditions may restrict harvesting for weeks.

Baldacci noted that as of the end of last week, virtually the entire coastline was closed to the harvesting of shellfish.

The governor said the positive economic impact of Maine’s shellfish industry is estimated at between $40 million and $50 million dollars annually.