Harvesting Controversy Over Nub Scallops Comes to Island

Three years ago, the Nantucket bay scallop harvest suddenly more than doubled in size, from around 15,000 bushels to more than 32,000. It was the year the industry ate its future.

The following season the harvest crashed. The total catch in 2005-06 was one-sixth as large — just 5,500 bushels. It was even worse last season, when fewer than 4,000 bushels were hauled up, the lowest tally since they began keeping records 30 years earlier.

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Commercial Season Opens For Scalloping Up Island

The commercial bay scalloping season opened yesterday in Aquinnah. Aquinnah is the last town on the Island to open the commercial season. Fishermen have been harvesting scallops in Edgartown, Oak Bluffs, Chilmark and Tisbury.

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Vineyard Scallopers Realize Premium

Vineyard commercial fishermen are coming out ahead in a price war over bay scallops.

Yesterday, Island commercial bay scallop fishermen received as much as $15 a pound, while their counterparts on Nantucket were paid only $11 a pound.

Consumers on both Islands yesterday were paying essentially the same price, around $18 a pound. In Orleans, the price was $29.99 a pound.

The Vineyard and Nantucket still have viable bay scallops fisheries, though Cape Cod does have pockets of success.

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Keeping Bay Scallops in the Crib Longer Is Easy on Budget, Good for Town Fishery

For Edgartown shellfishermen, it would be unconscionable to have an autumn and winter without fishing for and harvesting bay scallops. On Cape Cod and Long Island, however, the scallops have all but disappeared.

Warren Gaines, deputy shellfish constable for Edgartown, has spent the past two summers making sure the bay scallop fishery in town remains healthy and viable. His expanding efforts follow a bit of a scare when, for at least a decade, bay scallop landings from Cape Pogue Pond haven’t been up to waterfront expectations.

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With Science, Future Is Hopeful For Bringing Back Bay Scallops

If the bay scallop fishery can be restored to places like Cape Cod and Long Island, the Vineyard may be able to take credit for it.

The Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) is in the midst of a multi-year scientific experiment in Menemsha Pond that could have a wide-ranging impact on the future of bay scallops in the region.

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The Fishermen


Already this fall one Island angler has won a brand-new pickup truck for a huge striped bass he caught and the Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby isn’t over yet.

That’s because he caught it in a different contest.

Morgan Taylor, 24, of Edgartown last week won the Angler of the Year Award in the annual Striper Cup, sponsored and run by the monthly publication On the Water. Mr. Taylor won the award for a 52-pound striped bass he caught from the shore way back in June.

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Pond Stock Rising

Pond Stock Rising

The late Foster Silva, longtime superintendent for The Trustees of Reservations on Chappaquiddick who loved to tell perfect strangers that he had received his degree from Katama University, had an opinion on the subject of bay scallops. Cape Pogue scallops, he said, were the sweetest. No arguments.

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Banner Season for Bay Scallops

Vineyard bay scallops, the Island’s biggest export this time of year, are at a premium.

Even though fishermen are coming ashore on the mainland with product, Roy Scheffer of Edgartown, a longtime commercial fisherman, said: “We have the nicest scallops. It looks like it is going to be a good Christmas.”

The price fell early in November, but it is back up now. At the market, fishermen can expect to get paid as much as $13 a pound for their shucked product. Consumers can expect to pay close to $17 a pound retail.

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Chilmark Strikes Scallop Deal, Seeks Details on Home Port

Chilmark’s most diehard scallopers will have a chance to increase the bushel limit in exchange for some community service.

Menemsha seafood retailer Karsten Larsen convinced selectmen at a meeting Tuesday to raise the small pond limits from two to three bushels a day, arguing that those ponds are oversubscribed with small scallops which would die in a freeze and potentially damage the pond bed.

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Hearing Asks: How Big Do Bay Scallops Have to Be?

The question of what is a harvestable sized bay scallop will be the subject of a public hearing next week on the Cape. The state Division of Marine Fisheries is hosting the hearing at 3 p.m. on Jan. 6 to gather input, following emergency action they took last fall to quiet a dispute between fishermen and regulators.

The hearing will take place at the Barnstable Senior Center, 825 Falmouth Road, Route 28 in Hyannis.

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