Katama Bay Oyster Farms Closed Due to Bacterial Outbreak
Sara Brown
Katama Bay oyster farms in Edgartown have been closed due to an outbreak of Vibrio parahaemolyticus (Vp), the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Department of Fish and Game, Division of Marine Fisheries announced Monday.
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Conservancy Invests in Tisbury Great Pond Oyster Futures
Remy Tumin
Part of the Tisbury Great Pond is about to become an oyster reef, thanks to a project sponsored by The Nature Conservancy and the towns of Chilmark and West Tisbury.

The propagation projects calls for putting down 100 cubic yards of sea clam shells as culch and then planting 250,000 juvenile oysters.

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Selectman Skeptical About Oyster Farm Plan in Lagoon Pond
Sara Brown

A plan for a large oyster farm in Lagoon Pond spurred debate in Oak Bluffs this week, with town officials weighing concerns about the location and effects of the proposed farm with the potential benefits of aquaculture. Brothers Dan and Greg Martino applied for an aquaculture license to start a four-acre oyster farm at the southern end of Lagoon Pond.

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Upside to Bitter Cold, Frozen Ponds May Benefit Oysters
Mark Alan Lovewell

Bitterly cold temperatures in January kept the bay scallop fleet grounded for many days, but frozen ponds may provide future benefits to some shellfish, including scallops and oysters, Island marine biologists say.

Rick Karney, director of the Martha’s Vineyard Shellfish Group, said last week that a drop in water temperature in saltwater ponds helps to inhibit the shellfish disease dermo, which is a threat to wild oysters.

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A Taste of Vineyard First: Compare Island's Oysters
Mark Alan Lovewell

The Martha's Vineyard Shellfish Group will be offering treats from Island waters at the Martha's Vineyard Preservation Trust's Taste of the Vineyard gourmet stroll this Thursday night. They'll have a booth featuring their flavorful Island-cultured oysters. This year, strollers will be able to compare oysters cultured in Menemsha Pond and oysters raised in Katama Bay.

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Frigid Weather in February Means Edgartown Great Pond Oystering
Mark Alan Lovewell

On a recent Wednesday morning, after days of wind, the Edgartown Great Pond was flat calm - perfect conditions for oyster fishing. Ice that had formed over several cold nights stretched into the coves, but the pond was still open and accessible.

Six fishermen on four boats were out on the water. The temperature reached 28 degrees only minutes before they powered up their boats.

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

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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In Sea of Change, Oysters Remain Nature’s Pure and Perfect Pearl
Chris Fischer

Chez Panisse is arguably the best and most influential restaurant in the country. The restaurant’s founder, Alice Waters, has become the figurehead of the current farm-to-table revolution in America that has spread rapidly, including (thankfully) to Martha’s Vineyard. The chefs at Chez Panisse have to work their way up through a rigorous kitchen hierarchy, putting in countless hours peeling carrots and cardoons just for the opportunity to cook for those paying customers who have traveled from places near and far to sample their ingenuity.

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Oysters Are Plentiful Despite Soft Market
Mark Alan Lovewell

The commercial oyster season is underway, and the early reports from the Tisbury Great Pond in West Tisbury and Chilmark are good. Oyster fishermen in those towns are getting their daily limit, although the off-Island market is soft.

The retail price on Island fluctuates; this week wild oysters were selling for 50 cents apiece.

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