State Fisheries Director Nixes Lobster Hatchery Revival Idea
Mark Alan Lovewell

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.

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Tribe Bay Scallop Study Shows Sanctuaries Can Revive Fishery
Mark Alan Lovewell

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.

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Commercial Scallop Season Begins
Mark Alan Lovewell

The commercial bay scallop season is open in all towns save Aquinnah, and as hardy shellfishermen don their orange and yellow foul weather gear, perhaps hoping for a small hedge against hard economic times, the early reports on the season are mixed.

Edgartown is having an average to healthy year, but the scallops coming out of Cape Pogue are small. Chilmark expects to have a short season this year. Sengekontacket remains mostly the steady domain of family fishermen (no dragging is allowed there). And the Lagoon Pond is hot.

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Tribe Allows Use of Hatchery For Winter Flounder Project
Mark Alan Lovewell

The Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) has agreed to lease its shellfish hatchery on the shore of Menemsha Pond to the Martha’s Vineyard/Dukes County Fishermen’s Association for $100 to raise winter flounder. The partnership is part of a federally funded two-year $308,000 National Sea Grant project to find ways to restore one of the most troubled fish resources in Southern New England.

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Iclelandic Mussel Farmer Brings Success Story to Vineyard Waters
Mark Alan Lovewell

By MARK ALAN LOVEWELL

The seafood consumer loves to eat blue mussels. It’s an internationally consumed product that lends itself very well to modern day aquaculture, including most likely here in Vineyard waters. Last Wednesday, a top mussel grower from Iceland, Vidir Bjornsson, of Nordurskel, came to speak and share pictures of his young blue mussel farm at the Chilmark Public Library. His one-hour talk was devoted to sharing his success, his struggles and his technique.

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Water Quality and Crack Staff Deliver Banner Crop of Shellfish
Mark Alan Lovewell

The Martha’s Vineyard Shellfish Group had one of its most productive summers, mass producing millions of baby quahaugs, bay scallops and oysters. And to top it all off, the shellfish hatchery produced twice the usual numbers of bay scallop seed.

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Seafood Shipper Uses Ice to Break Into Bigger, Fresher Local Fish Market
Mark Alan Lovewell

Fresh fish is landed daily at Menemsha and much of it is being shipped to the mainland by Alec Gale. With his operation set up in what was once a lobster shack, the 34-year-old is shipping more this summer than he has shipped before.

A key ingredient to his success is ice. He manufactures and sells ice by the bucket and fish box. Boats are loading up with his ice before they head out of the harbor, and they are coming back with boxes full of iced fish.

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If Life Gives You No Lobsters, Make Oysters the Aquaculture Way
Mark Alan Lovewell

M. Emmett Carroll Jr. has seen change on the waterfront, from the days when lobsters were bountiful to now when they seem scarce. He has kept his faith by dancing with new ideas, shifting his attention to raising oysters. He runs Menemsha Oysters, pretty much a one-man aquaculture operation which involves raising and harvesting some of the Island’s tastiest oysters.

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Lobster Hatchery Rehab Is Approved
Julia Wells

An overhaul of the shuttered state lobster hatchery in Oak Bluffs has been approved by the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, and the commonwealth will now invest a significant sum of money to rehabilitate the facility for use by the Martha’s Vineyard Shellfish Group, Cape and Islands Rep. Timothy Madden announced yesterday.

Mr. Madden said the state DMF has agreed to invest at least $250,000 in the project in phases. Work began this week to replace the plumbing in the old hatchery that sits on the eastern side of the Lagoon Pond in Oak Bluffs.

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Call it a Day for Bay Scallops: Fishermen Weigh in Good Season
Mark Alan Lovewell

For those who love to eat fresh bay scallops harvested from Island ponds, they won’t be available in fish markets for long. The fishery closed yesterday.

Shellfish constables report it was a fair season, with Edgartown doing the best. More than 100 commercial bay scallopers across the Island were able to make a decent day’s pay since the season began back in the fall. Only one or two fishermen were out working the ponds in each of the towns by the season’s end, though.

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