Shellfishing Possibly Cut 

Commissioner George LaPointe of the Department of Marine Resources says Governor Baldacci’s order to reduce its budget by 10%, or $1,000,000, requires either radical cuts in the marine patrol or the scrapping of all shellfish inspections.

LaPointe said he decided to eliminate the three red tide monitoring staffers and the three shellfish inspectors, along with three employees in marine patrol.

The commissioner acknowledged that the proposal would essentially close Maine’s $50,000,000 shellfish industry, but said deep cuts in marine patrol would hurt all of the state’s fisheries.