The steamer crisis

Steamers photographed in Gloucester, Mass.

Steamers photographed in Gloucester, Mass.

From Robert Whitcomb's "Digital Diary,'' in

]One of the joys of living near the New England coast used to be eating soft-shelled clams - -called “steamers’’ because that’s how they’re cooked. But they’re getting much harder to find.

Apparently, a major reason is an increase in invasive green crabs, which like the warmer water, associated with global warming, we’ve had along the New England coast the last few decades; these crabs eat the clams.

Perhaps encouraging the development of steamer aquaculture in places that can be protected from green crabs and other predators associated with warming seas will be necessary if we want to continue to enjoy these delicious shellfish. And the heart-stopping butter you dip them in.