Katama Bay oyster farms reopened for business Thursday morning after a two-week closure because of Vibrio illness traced to consumption of raw oysters harvested from the water. The 12 aquaculture farms operating on the bay were back up and running early Thursday.
Katama Bay oyster farms will remain closed for another week following additional confirmed cases of Vibrio illness tied to the area, a state Department of Marine Fisheries official said Tuesday afternoon. Chris Schillaci told oyster farmers that handling is not the problem.
Katama Bay oyster farms have been closed for a week because of three cases of confirmed cases of Vibrio parahaemolyticus illness tied to consumption of raw oysters from the area, state officials announced Wednesday.
An Oak Bluffs resident is challenging the award of an aquaculture license at Eastville Beach. Jacob H. Ludwig 3rd is asking the superior court to overturn a decision to grant Dan and Greg Martino an aquaculture license.
With Vibrio an ongoing concern, guidelines for handling and transporting oysters are expected to be revised again. Vineyard oyster farmers have been exemplary in adhering to protocols, state officials said.
The 4-1 vote clears the way for brothers Greg and Dan Martino to begin a pioneering aquaculture venture. There were complaints from abutters and concerns about navigation, but the town strongly backed the project as a boost to the shellfishery.
Tim Broderick took a leap of faith when he sold his 55-foot fishing dragger Four Kids this summer, switching to oyster farming in Menemsha Pond with his father Stephen. But the Brodericks say the change is already paying off.
Oyster farms on the bay are open again after a one-week precautionary closure spurred by cases of Vibrio illness. Meanwhile, discussion has begun among oyster farmers and biologists about taking a proactive approach to the problem, possibly through planned closures during warm weather.