New shellfish regulations in Chilmark aim to better monitor the 10 oyster grants in Menemsha Pond and protect the town’s inshore fisheries.

Following a public hearing on Tuesday, the selectmen unanimously adopted the regulations, as drafted by the town shellfish department.

For the first time, anyone holding an aquaculture permit in town must provide an annual report to the selectmen that includes harvest data, approximate numbers of adult and seed oysters at the site, and a record of mortalities and growing conditions, among other things.

“We really had a lack of aquaculture rules in general for the town,” shellfish constable Isaiah Scheffer said Wednesday. “We need to make sure that everybody that has an oyster grant is compliant.”

The number of grants in Menemsha Pond increased from six to 10 following a public application process this spring. Each site totals about 1.4 acres.

According to the rules, grant holders must mark the four corners of their areas, and any changes in methods or gear type may require approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the state Division of Marine Fisheries, the town conservation commission and the selectmen. Any gear that breaks loose must be collected within a month of notification by the town, and people who lose their licenses have six months to remove their equipment.

The rules also aim to protect the fisheries themselves by requiring that all seed purchased from a private grower be tested for disease, and that undesirable oysters be transferred to recreational fishing areas rather than discarded. In addition, the rules allow dragging for oysters only on days when the air temperature reaches 28 degrees by 10 a.m. If those conditions don’t occur during the week, then commercial license holders can fish on Saturdays, provided the conditions are met then. The idea is to protect the smaller oysters, which can’t be harvested, from freezing on the boat.

One goal of the new regulations is to better gauge the benefit of the oyster grants which occupy town property. “We are allowing somebody to use that little piece of water to grow oysters,” Mr. Scheffer said. “So we want to have some sort of solid idea of what it’s worth to our community.”

The enforced record keeping will help the department recover any equipment in the event that a grower can no longer maintain the grant.

“We kind of want to just know what’s going on,” Mr. Scheffer said.

Also on Tuesday, the selectmen heard from members of the planning board about their efforts to revamp the town master plan, starting with Menemsha. The master plan was last updated in 2003.

Board member Janet Widener said the process would start with data gathering from town boards, followed by continued outreach and at least one public forum this year. “We want this to be a more of a global look,” she said, noting the usual concerns about traffic and parking in the area. Members also stressed the importance of having all options on the table. “Nothing really is sacrosanct,” said John Eisner. “Maybe we won’t achieve it all, but we’re trying to put together something for the present and for the future.”

The board aims for a number of milestones this summer and fall, including a formal kickoff June 27, and the development of a community survey.

“It’s long overdue,” selectman Bill Rossi said of the project, adding that he was glad it would be a collaborative effort.

In related business, the selectmen agreed to hire Christina Colarusso, assistant Edgartown harbor master and a graduate of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, to help develop a three-year operating plan for Menemsha Harbor.

Harbor master Dennis Jason noted the completion of many projects in the harbor in the last decade, including the installation of new docks, but said he would appreciate the added perspective. “She has an understanding and I think we speak the same language,” he said of Ms. Colarusso. “So I would feel it’s a plus.”

The selectmen were unsure whether the harbor master’s budget would cover the cost, which could total around $5,000 in wages. They voted to authorize the hiring but also to explore other funding sources.

American Tower Corporation, which plans to install trash receptacles that double as Wi-Fi antennas in Menemsha, responded to the selectmen’s vote May 3 not to allow the receptacle closest to the beach. Selectman Jim Malkin had questioned the need for beachgoers to use the internet, but was open to the company’s offer to provide the receptacle free of charge for the first year.

“We need this for the commercial operations, we need it for the harbor,” he said of the service. “If that’s how we’re going to get it, that’s how we’re going to get it.” The selectmen unanimously accepted the offer.