Warren Doty at menemsha

Last month Congress allotted $170 million to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) — an unprecedented funding pool for the fisheries service — with the goal of creating several thousand jobs.

Warren Doty knew he wanted a piece.

“They said, we want jobs,” said the Chilmark selectman and member of the Martha’s Vineyard Shellfish Group. “And I thought, okay, let’s go, I’ll give you jobs.”


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.


Shellfish Group Struggles with Shortfall


The Martha's Vineyard Shellfish Group is in the midst of a
financial crisis. Director Rick Karney is troubled; it means greater
hardship in an already difficult business of raising juvenile shellfish.

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.


Following the die off of juvenile shellfish at the Martha's
Vineyard Shellfish Group in recent weeks, there will be a summit of the
minds next Wednesday at the Tisbury Town Hall. Shellfish constables,
biologists, members of the Lagoon Pond Association and the Tisbury
Waterways Inc. will meet at noon to talk about the next step in
protecting the water quality in the pond.

The director of the Martha's Vineyard Shellfish Group said yesterday that nearly four million healthy juvenile shellfish under culture at his Lagoon Pond hatchery have died in the last three weeks because of extremely poor water quality in the pond.

The deteriorating water quality has not affected mature shellfish and there is no danger to humans who eat shellfish from the pond.