Delegation seeks shellfish disaster declaration

Posted Oct. 20, 2009, at 3:12 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 11:55 a.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — Maine’s congressional delegation is asking that a fisheries disaster be declared for the state’s shellfish industry to help with losses from this summer’s clam flat closures due to red tide.

In a letter to Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, the delegation asked for the declaration, a move that would free up disaster assistance funds. The letter was signed by Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins along with Reps. Mike Michaud and Chellie Pingree.

Much of the Maine coast was shut down to shellfish harvesting during the summer because of outbreaks of toxic algae blooms, forcing hundreds of clam diggers to put down their rakes.