The Katama Bay oyster is the talk of Island raw bars. Lovers of
seafood now have a local oyster available through most of the year. This
Island oyster is making its way across the eastern seaboard to
Washington, D.C., New York and Boston.


A serious oyster disease that has afflicted Edgartown Great Pond for years is now in Tisbury Great Pond and it is expected to cause a major die-off in the months ahead.

The disease known as Dermo is not harmful to humans in any way but it is responsible for having caused the collapse of the oyster fisheries from Cape Cod to the Gulf of Mexico. The only cure, according to Rick Karney of the Martha’s Vineyard Shellfish Group would be a frigid winter. The parasite that causes the disease can’t stand bitter cold water.


If you ate a raw oyster last summer on the Vineyard, chances are it came from either Canada or Long Island. But for oyster lovers, the summer ahead offers another treat: the Vineyard oyster.


It is a record year for baby shellfish growing up at the Martha’s Vineyard Shellfish Group, but the 21-year-old institution is facing severe financial troubles, its worst in years.

There is another contradiction. The hatchery, highly regarded in the national aquaculture industry, the recipient of federal grants and accolades from the science community, is dealing with an image problem before Island town selectmen and financial committees. Town officials like the work but they don’t want to help it financially.


Near Chappaquiddick Point lies an unassuming summer house with a big mission. Over the last summer, the Martha’s Vineyard Shellfish Group has converted the two-bedroom home into a shellfish nursery complete with swirling pools of saltwater and millions of baby bay scallops. And although the project is not yet complete, the hatchery has already helped raise millions of tiny shellfish for distribution to the Island’s coastal ponds.