Edgartown shellfishermen are one step closer to farming in a new spot in Nantucket Sound, following an approval from the selectmen on Monday.
The site, called the middle flats, is a 35-acre area located about a mile north of Eel Pond. The area has been divided into 10 aquaculture lots, each two acres in size. Four have already been assigned; Katama oyster farmers Joseph Smith and Ryan Smith have claimed one site each, as have Roy and Jeremy Scheffer,
“This is kind of seen as an area where the guys at Katama can expand a little bit,” shellfish constable Paul Bagnall said Monday.
The Scheffers were granted the first two aquaculture licenses for the middle flats in January, and the Smiths followed suit in March. The project will now go before the town conservation commission and the state division of marine fisheries for further approvals. Mr. Bagnall said the project would have minimal visual impact on abutters because of its distance from shore. Cages will sit underwater, with buoys marking their locations.
“I think it is something that there is obviously a need, that they are requesting that they need more space, so it will help those who want to do that,” said selectman Margaret Serpa.
In other business, selectmen approved the hiring of a new procurement officer. George Brown was selected as the top candidate among six qualified applicants, town administrator Pam Dolby said.
“Everybody pretty much agreed on this guy,” Ms. Dolby said.
The state Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission visited Edgartown this past weekend, and found no violations during their visit.
“They were pretty impressed with Edgartown,” Ms. Dolby said, adding that they reserved special praise for the identification card readers in use all over town.