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New England Clamming Areas To Reopen Through Pilot Program

Clam fishing areas off New England that have been closed for more than 20 years will be reopened as part of a new pilot program.

The areas of Georges Banks where Atlantic surf clams are found had been closed because of a lack of testing for paralytic shellfish poisoning, which if often associated with red tide.

But as part of the one-year, $175,000 pilot program - beginning in January - the New Bedford based-Sea Watch International can fish the areas. The clams will be tested at sea, then again by the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries.

The company is expected to make up to two trips weekly, and bring in about 600,000 pounds of clams per trip. State officials say that will mean a one-year boost of $15 million to Massachusetts and 60 full and part-time jobs.

This program aired on December 21, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

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