Nantucket’s rich history of bay scallop fisheries includes both commercial and family scalloping seasons. On Wednesday, guest speaker Dr. Robert Kennedy will detail the latest research into this fishery, in a free talk at Chilmark Public Library.

He will summarize of the history of the bay scallop and scalloping on Nantucket, outline past and present scallop research, discuss current management practices, status of eelgrass beds and water circulation in Nantucket Harbor, and review possible reasons for lower commercial landings in 2005 and 2006.

The June 18 talk by Dr. Kennedy, Maria Mitchell Association director of natural sciences and chair of the Nantucket Biodiversity Initiative, begins at 5:30 p.m. It is entitled Status of the Bay Scallop Argopecten Irradians on Nantucket Island – Past, Present and Future.

Dr. Kennedy will discuss what research and management practices are planned for the future and what the Nantucket community is doing to maintain the health of its harbors and surrounding waters.

Over the past several decades, Nantucket’s commercial landings have ranged from a high of 117,000 bushels in 1980 to a low of 3,800 bushels in the season ending in 2007. The most recent scalloping season reached 15,000 bushels during the first half of the season.

The Nantucket population is the last remaining, commercially viable, virtually unmanaged, wild population of bay scallops in Eastern North America.

For details, call 508-645-3360.