Archive for July 16th, 2009

Clams (or lack thereof)

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

Seaport Fish’s most recent email newsletter provides some insight into clams:

Where have all the clams gone?

Red Tide Closes Maine Coast to Clam Harvesting   The Maine Department of Marine Resources has announced the closure of most of the clam flats from Kittery to Canada.  This closure also affects mussels and oysters harvested from Maine waters.  With native steamers being so hard to come by it has driven up prices in restaurants and retail stores for their Canadian replacements.   This outbreak is caused by an explosion of naturally-occurring plankton, Alexandrium fundyense, the toxin becomes concentrated in filter-feeding bivalves.  This bloom of red tide is one of the worst seen in years.  A period of rain followed by sunny weather is often associated with these outbreaks.  It will take several weeks of flushing with clean water before these shellfish are safe to eat.  Cooking does not destroy the toxin.  In humans the effected shellfish will cause poisoning that immediately affects the nervous system and can cause muscular paralysis as well as respiratory difficulties.

Now the good news:   Lobster, crabs, shrimp and fish are not effected by red tide are always safe to eat.  We are able to get great steamers, mussels and oysters from Canada to our customers.   There are very strict guidelines regarding testing of affected areas to ensure no shellfish that carries the toxin ever enters the market.  Each area must test 100% free of the toxin before any harvesting is allowed.

So you can safely eat all the beautiful fish and shellfish that we offer everyday at Seaport!  Can’t wait to see you here.


And there is plenty of delicious local groundfish to be had. Seaport Fish sells locally caught, locally landed, locally filleted (in short: the fish stayed here and didn’t do any travelling, making it the freshest, most local fish available) fish at its Rye and Dover stores as well as at the Rye Farmers’ Market on Wednesdays. Make sure to visit to sign up for their timely and informative email newsletters.

Eastman’s Fish does the same thing (locally caught, landed, filleted) and offers both a CSF and fish for sale at Emery Farm in Durham on Wednesdays, the Exeter Farmers’ Market on Thursdays, and the Rye Farmers’ Market on Wednesdays. Joining the CSF (pay up front and pick up your fish every week for 6 weeks or more) makes sure you get fish every week, and you get the freshest fish at the best price. Or, you can take your chances and see what they have available for sale if you are looking for choice. Last night I got some very delicious Monkfish caught by Carolyn’s husband.  For more information on the CSF,  call Carolyn Eastman at 760-7422.