Aquaculture expert Dr. Elizabeth A. Fairchild, the Assistant Research Professor from the University of New Hampshire, will report on the Martha’s Vineyard winter flounder stock enhancement project on Thursday, March 17 at 5 p.m. at the Chilmark Public Library.
Dr. Fairchild is assisting a group of 25 Island fishermen and aquaculturists in a project involving Lagoon Pond and Menemsha Pond. The group plans to spawn and grow 50,000 juvenile flounder in Island hatcheries for release into the two ponds. The two-year project began in November.
In the past twenty years, the New England winter flounder population has declined 91 per cent, according to the UNH Coastal Marine Laboratory. Dr. Fairchild has been studying winter flounder for more than a decade, looking at reasons for this decline and possible programs for restoration. Her research has been aimed at determining the ideal size for releasing juveniles into the wild, when and where the releases should occur and how to condition the hatchery-raised juveniles to avoid predators and forage for food after release into the wild.
The lecture is free and sponsored by the Menemsha Fisheries Development Fund and the Friends of the Chilmark Public Library.
For more information about the project visit winterflounderenhancement.blogspot.com.