I’m sorry to say that red tide may be returning this spring and summer to New England. In 2005, red tide showed up off the coast of New England. The result? A ban on shellfish. Costly to the already beleaguered fishing industry which has high rates of unemployment.
According to a very informative article in Cape Cod Online, red tide is caused by: “single-celled Alexandrium algae that form armored cysts that sink to the ocean bottom.”
The article goes on to note that, “Toxins produced by the algae accumulate in shellfish as they filter feed on the tiny organisms. If a human, or other warm-blooded animal, eats a sufficient amount of these contaminated clams, mussels, quahogs, whelks or snails, they can suffer paralytic shellfish poisoning that affects the respiratory system and can be fatal.”
What can you do?
Buy lots of shellfish now.