Algae bloom helps shellfish industry
NARRAGANSETT, R.I. (AP) – A record-breaking algae bloom in Narragansett Bay is setting the stage for a booming shellfish season.
The Providence Journal reports Rhode Island’s algae bloom this past winter was the largest on record, and could fuel a spike in clam and scallop numbers.
University of Rhode Island scientists have tracked the January bloom, which they say is a result of high rainfall in October. Blooms occurring during the winter are positive because they won’t lead to low-oxygen conditions for other species.
The resulting increase in phytoplankton, a source of nutrients for clams, helps shellfish growth throughout the season.