‘Rare’ seafood

Scott Overland of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, was exceedingly satisfied with the clam appetizer during dinner at a restaurant in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware in August.

While eating the clams, however, Overland bit on something hard. He looked at it and there was a lavender-colored bead or what looked like a small, round candy.

Overland and his family soon realized that the object was a natural pearl that the Gemological Institute of America later confirmed was real.

Overland’s $14 clam dish gave him $4,000 worth of gemstone based on its valuation by the Philadelphia Jewelry Appraisers. Moreover, it was a rare one.

The clam with the pearl was one of 60 to 80 million grown and harvested by Cherrystone Aqua Farms in the Chesapeake Bay, according to Delaware Online.

Yet even rarer than a clam with pearl is a snow crab, an American delicacy. In fact, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game has, for the first time in state history, canceled the winter snow crab harvest season in the Bering Sea this year because the seafood in gone, CBS News reported. Crabbers and restaurateurs were shocked and worried by the pronouncement.

The department said the population of snow crabs had dropped by nearly 90 percent from 2018 to 2021, plunging from eight billion to one billion, Greenwire reported.

One speculation on how the snow crabs off Alaska’s coast disappeared is climate change. Warming ocean waters either killed the crustaceans en masse or forced them to migrate somewhere to survive.

Ben Daly, a researcher with the department, has his hands full as he is tasked to find the billions of missing snow crabs to scientifically determine the cause of their disappearance.

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