Lagoon Pond was closed to scalloping on the Vineyard Haven side, effective Wednesday morning.

At a meeting Tuesday night, the Tisbury selectmen voted to follow the shellfish constable’s recommendation to close the pond, but decided against her recommendation to close the outer harbor. That area will remain open to bay scalloping open until Dec. 31.

Last week shellfish constable Danielle Ewart recommended closing both the pond and the outer harbor due to a dwindling supply of adult scallops. Commercial scallopers who attended the meeting Tuesday night objected to the closure, saying it will hurt them economically.

“First of all you don’t have to make a limit to get a good day’s pay,” said Lynne Fraker. “Just because people aren’t making their limit doesn’t mean their not making a good day’s pay.”

Jason Robinson said he gets about 10 pounds of scallops each time he goes out, and with the going price of $25 a pound, it’s worth it even if he can’t fill two bushels. “We’re not hurting the seed by lifting it and moving it,” he said. He urged the selectmen to keep the ouster harbor open. “To close the outside, we have seven and a half miles of shoreline in Vineyard Haven and we haven’t touched any of it. Let us have the outside. If we don’t find anything, we don’t, but what are we hurting out there?”

Tom Searle agreed. “I depend on this as my living,” he said. “Ninety-nine point nine per cent of my income comes from the ocean.”

Ms. Ewart defended her recommendation. “It’s in our best interest to close down scalloping; as of today 570 bushels have been harvested,”she said. “There’s been a rapid decline in past two weeks . . . we have to put our ponds first.” She said the shellfish committee backed her recommendation.

Committee chairman James Tilton said the reason for closing the pond is to protect the seed.

“It’s important to remember it’s to protect the brood stock, not about how many adults are or are not there,” he said. “The worst thing for brood stock is to be towed over and over and over.”

Selectman Melinda Loberg backed Ms. Ewart’s recommendations.

“When Danielle came last week she made it clear that warden’s job is to set closures and openings; none of us should think we are more qualified, yet I hear more comments and questions,” she said. “I can see this is a very competitive year for everybody . . . . some years we don’t have as good of scallop season as others, it’s painful to experience that. I don’t want to sit here and second guess our shellfish warden.”

But selectmen Tristan Israel and Larry Gomez both said they felt the outside harbor should remain open. Mr. Israel requested that in the future the possibility of keeping areas open only to commercial dip netting would be discussed.

The vote was 2-1 to close the Lagoon and keep the outer harbor open. Ms. Ewart said she would go along with the compromise.

Meanwhile, one more pond is set to open to scalloping in Tisbury. Lake Tashmoo opens to family scalloping on Dec. 5; commercial scalloping begins Dec. 7.

In other business, the selectmen voted to keep the same tax classification rate as last year. The 18 per cent residential exemption for qualifying homeowners will continue with no shift for commercial properties. Though the tax rate has previously been a heated topic in town, there was little comment this year.

The tax rate will be $9.17 compared to last year’s rate of $8.92 for residential properties. For commercial properties it will be $8.57 this year compared to $8.34 last year. Town assessor Ann Marie Cywinski said of the 2,900 parcels in town, 1,041 parcels are benefitting from the exemption.