Maine Closing Small Area To Crab, Lobster Harvests 

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — The state Department of Marine Resources is closing a small area at the mouth of the Penobscot River to the harvesting of crabs and lobsters for at least two years as a precautionary measure over concerns about possible mercury contamination.

The closure, which takes effect Saturday, involves about 7 square miles and extends from Wilson Point across to Fort Point and north into the river. It applies to commercial and recreational fishermen.

Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher said in a news release Tuesday that the closure comes in response to information received in November about mercury contamination in muscle tissue from lobsters found in the area.

He says officials will conduct seasonal monitoring of mercury levels and decide after two years whether to reopen the area.