Scientists say the Gulf of Maine's once strong population of wild blue mussels is disappearing.
A recent report in the journal of Global Change Biology says the numbers along the gulf coastline have declined by more than 60 percent over the last 40 years.
The Gulf of Maine stretches from Cape Cod to Canada and is a key marine environment.
Blue mussels are used in seafood dishes. They are worth millions to the economy of states like Maine and Massachusetts.
But they also are important in moving bacteria and toxins out of the water.
Biologist Cascade Sorte, of the University of California, Irvine, and her colleagues conducted the study.
She says that for marine habitats, it is like losing a forest.
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