Experimental Mussel Farm Proposed

A bowl of steamed blue mussels is among the most valued culinary seafood dishes on the Island. Just about every restaurant that serves seafood offers the bivalve. But all of the mussels consumed on the Island comes from afar, nearly all from Canada. But in the years ahead the popular shellfish may be raised and harvested here.

Aquaculture Stimulus

Aquaculture Stimulus

We have seen the future and this is it: American oysters, bay scallops, blue mussels, quahaugs and softshell clams, thriving by the thousands in natural nurseries that are the coastal ponds and embayments of the Vineyard. The nurseries are aided by the able work of the Martha’s Vineyard Shellfish Group, which grows millions of seed shellfish and provides them to the towns for sowing — both in the wild and in saltwater farms tended by entrepreneurial fishermen.

Bottom Grants for Blue Mussels

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.

Mussels Men: Chilmark Waters Are Big Step for Shellfish Startup

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.

First Farm-Raised Mussels Make Debut

The Vineyard’s first offshore farm-raised blue mussels will be distributed among Island fish markets and a few restaurants this weekend. The shellfish are being grown as part of a federally and locally-funded offshore aquaculture experiment to bring farm-raised blue mussels to market on the Island.

Ponds to Host Winter Flounder as Island Aquaculture Grows

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.

Aquinnah Sanctions Scallopers Without Permits, Debates Costs

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.

State Fisheries Director Nixes Lobster Hatchery Revival Idea

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.

Tribe Bay Scallop Study Shows Sanctuaries Can Revive Fishery

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.

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

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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