Blue Mussel Farm Shows Signs of Success

Vineyard local restaurants began serving locally harvested blue mussels in July and the prospects for the future look even better. Alec Gale of the Menemsha Fish House said he was pleased with the results. The last of the locally harvested blue mussels were shipped this week but there may be more.

Shellfishermen File Application for Offshore Blue Mussel Farm

Several shellfishermen and fishermen are taking a first step on a long road to raise blue mussels for market in Vineyard waters.

Rick Karney, director of the Martha's Vineyard Shellfish Group, the project's principal investigator, has applied for a state grant to fund half of a $28,730 feasibility project.Blue mussels are a highly prized shellfish. Island consumers buy plenty of them in local fish markets, but nearly all the mussels come from Canada.

Researchers Find Blue Mussels Flourish in Island Experiment

On this November morning, the Menemsha lobster boat Shearwater has made its way three and a half miles south of Noman’s Land.

Noman’s tall cliffs rise above the treacherous rocky waters. Sea birds are adrift in the moving current farther north.

Waves roll from the open ocean and raise and lower the boat in a gentle fashion, like a mother rocking a sleeping child. The sky is blue and metallic; the color of the sea beneath is a darker version of the sky. A gentle cold breeze freshens. The bow points towards Spain.

Success of Blue Mussel Project Heartens Fishing Advocates

For Rick Karney, director of the Martha’s Vineyard Shellfish Group, 2008 is becoming the Year of the Blue Mussel.

In recent weeks, Mr. Karney’s group has received positive news about the prospects of raising blue mussels in local waters.

While the Island group already raises juvenile bay scallops, quahaugs and oysters for participating towns on a regular basis, the organization also is participating in a blue-mussel experiment that could expand aquaculture to the open water.

Blue Mussel Farm Planted at Sea, Raising Hopes for Future Fishery

The Vineyard’s first experimental blue mussel farm began operating in waters off Cape Higgon in Chilmark this past week.

Two weeks ago fishermen suspended a 500-foot cable 30 feet underwater in Vineyard Sound. Last week they hung lines on the cable that were loaded with juvenile blue mussels, held to the line by a biodegradable fabric called socks.

If the project is successful, by the end of next year the mussels will be marketable.

Experimental Mussel Farm Proposed

A bowl of steamed blue mussels is among the most valued culinary seafood dishes on the Island. Just about every restaurant that serves seafood offers the bivalve. But all of the mussels consumed on the Island comes from afar, nearly all from Canada. But in the years ahead the popular shellfish may be raised and harvested here.

Bottom Grants for Blue Mussels

The Chilmark selectmen will award bottom grants next month for 15 acres of north shore water to shellfishermen who want to grow blue mussels in Vineyard Sound.

The selectmen will hold a public hearing on the grants on Oct. 5. The current site has been used for an experimental mussel program supported by the Martha’s Vineyard Shellfish Group, the Chilmark shellfish committee and the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole.

Mussels Men: Chilmark Waters Are Big Step for Shellfish Startup

With the future for aquaculture looking bright following a successful experiment in farming blue mussels this year, the Chilmark selectmen voted this week to award two Menemsha shellfishermen five acres of North Shore water to continue their work growing mussels.

Tim Broderick and Alec Gale harvested 1,900 pounds of blue mussels this summer in the experimental farm. Now they plan to set up ten 500-foot lines in Chilmark waters, where they hope to grow 10,000 pounds.

First Farm-Raised Mussels Make Debut

The Vineyard’s first offshore farm-raised blue mussels will be distributed among Island fish markets and a few restaurants this weekend. The shellfish are being grown as part of a federally and locally-funded offshore aquaculture experiment to bring farm-raised blue mussels to market on the Island.

Mussel Farming

The first blue mussels on the experimental offshore mussel farm in Vineyard waters will be harvested in the coming weeks. The mussels are large enough to go to market, according to Scott Lindell, an aquaculture specialist with the Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory.

There are two small farms. One is north of Chilmark; the second is west of Noman’s Land. Two Island fishermen, Alec Gale of West Tisbury and Tim Broderick of Chilmark, are tending the farms with a 55-foot workboat, the Jane Lee, out of Menemsha.

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