PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The coronavirus pandemic represents only the most recent in a string of setbacks that have held down the centuries-old New England clam harvesting industry.

The clamdiggers have weathered an aging workforce, relentless predators that prey on shellfish, warming waters and fickle markets. This summer’s pandemic has held few of the clamdiggers back from plying their trade in the coastal clam flats that have fed their customers from generations, members of the industry said.

Buyers have rewarded the clammers with prices that have held up better than many sectors of the beleaguered seafood industry, which has suffered a significant economic hit from the pandemic.