Bottom Grants for Blue Mussels
Remy Tumin

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.

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Mussels Men: Chilmark Waters Are Big Step for Shellfish Startup
Remy Tumin

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.

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Ponds to Host Winter Flounder as Island Aquaculture Grows
Mark Alan Lovewell

Winter flounder, once abundant in Vineyard waters, is on the verge of collapse. And now a group of Islanders, with help from the University of New Hampshire, have received a federal grant to try and raise the fish at a local hatchery and release them into Lagoon and Menemsha Ponds.

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Aquinnah Sanctions Scallopers Without Permits, Debates Costs
Remy Tumin

Two commercial bay scallopers in Aquinnah are facing punishment for fishing without a permit in November. Selectmen voted at their Dec. 14 meeting to fine George Baird $200 for scalloping two days on Menemsha Pond without a license, but referred a complaint against Wilde Whitcomb to town counsel.

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State Fisheries Director Nixes Lobster Hatchery Revival Idea
Mark Alan Lovewell

A top state fisheries official told a Vineyard gathering on Friday afternoon that it is not feasible to restore the 61-year-old state lobster hatchery — at least not for raising young lobsters for release.

“We have no evidence that we did enhance the wild population to any significant degree at all,” said Paul Diodati, director of the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries. “That and the cost in the past 10 years of government has become a real concern. Funding has withered,” he added.

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Oysters Galore in Tisbury Great Pond: Shellfish Biologists Rejoice at Comeback
Mark Alan Lovewell

Vineyard ponds may be in peril, but somebody forgot to tell that to the Tisbury Great Pond which is loaded with wild oysters this year, the biggest natural spawning of oysters in recent memory.

“It is huge,” said Rick Karney, who has been director of the Martha’s Vineyard Shellfish Group for over 30 years. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” Mr. Karney said.

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Tribe Bay Scallop Study Shows Sanctuaries Can Revive Fishery
Mark Alan Lovewell

Creating sanctuaries and aggressively managing the protection of juveniles are two of the low-cost ways towns can jump-start their bay scallop fishery, according to the results of a five-year study into how to promote the growth of bay scallops in local coastal ponds.

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If Life Gives You No Lobsters, Make Oysters the Aquaculture Way
Mark Alan Lovewell

M. Emmett Carroll Jr. has seen change on the waterfront, from the days when lobsters were bountiful to now when they seem scarce. He has kept his faith by dancing with new ideas, shifting his attention to raising oysters. He runs Menemsha Oysters, pretty much a one-man aquaculture operation which involves raising and harvesting some of the Island’s tastiest oysters.

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Seafood Shipper Uses Ice to Break Into Bigger, Fresher Local Fish Market
Mark Alan Lovewell

Fresh fish is landed daily at Menemsha and much of it is being shipped to the mainland by Alec Gale. With his operation set up in what was once a lobster shack, the 34-year-old is shipping more this summer than he has shipped before.

A key ingredient to his success is ice. He manufactures and sells ice by the bucket and fish box. Boats are loading up with his ice before they head out of the harbor, and they are coming back with boxes full of iced fish.

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Water Quality and Crack Staff Deliver Banner Crop of Shellfish
Mark Alan Lovewell

The Martha’s Vineyard Shellfish Group had one of its most productive summers, mass producing millions of baby quahaugs, bay scallops and oysters. And to top it all off, the shellfish hatchery produced twice the usual numbers of bay scallop seed.

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