With Katama Bay closed for business because of Vibrio parahaemolyticus (Vp), Edgartown oyster farmers Tuesday pressed for a speedy resolution to an investigation and testing regimen under way before a delegation of high-ranking state officials Tuesday.
At a shellfish committee meeting that day, farmers discussed sticking together and going to extra lengths to guard against future closures.
Katama Bay oyster farms in Edgartown have been closed due to an outbreak of Vibrio parahaemolyticus (Vp), the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Department of Fish and Game, Division of Marine Fisheries announced Monday.
A plan for a large oyster farm in Lagoon Pond spurred debate in Oak Bluffs this week, with town officials weighing concerns about the location and effects of the proposed farm with the potential benefits of aquaculture. Brothers Dan and Greg Martino applied for an aquaculture license to start a four-acre oyster farm at the southern end of Lagoon Pond.
Bitterly cold temperatures in January kept the bay scallop fleet grounded for many days, but frozen ponds may provide future benefits to some shellfish, including scallops and oysters, Island marine biologists say.
Rick Karney, director of the Martha’s Vineyard Shellfish Group, said last week that a drop in water temperature in saltwater ponds helps to inhibit the shellfish disease dermo, which is a threat to wild oysters.
The Martha's Vineyard Shellfish Group will be offering treats from Island waters at the Martha's Vineyard Preservation Trust's Taste of the Vineyard gourmet stroll this Thursday night. They'll have a booth featuring their flavorful Island-cultured oysters. This year, strollers will be able to compare oysters cultured in Menemsha Pond and oysters raised in Katama Bay.
Chez Panisse is arguably the best and most influential restaurant in the country. The restaurant’s founder, Alice Waters, has become the figurehead of the current farm-to-table revolution in America that has spread rapidly, including (thankfully) to Martha’s Vineyard. The chefs at Chez Panisse have to work their way up through a rigorous kitchen hierarchy, putting in countless hours peeling carrots and cardoons just for the opportunity to cook for those paying customers who have traveled from places near and far to sample their ingenuity.
The commercial oyster season is underway, and the early reports from the Tisbury Great Pond in West Tisbury and Chilmark are good. Oyster fishermen in those towns are getting their daily limit, although the off-Island market is soft.
The retail price on Island fluctuates; this week wild oysters were selling for 50 cents apiece.