Scallops in the White House

Scallops in the White House

Dear Mr. President: We read in The New York Times last week about your first state dinner, and we loved the kitchen tour that Mrs. Obama gave to culinary students and her comments about eating locally grown foods. And we read that the first dinner included Nantucket scallops, a favorite of yours, Mrs. Obama said.

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Shell May Be Half-Empty But Opening Day Ritual Full Hearted

Oak Bluffs recreational shellfishermen were out Saturday morning at Sengekontacket Pond, a happy day, because it was opening weekend for family scalloping. And while there were not a lot of scallops to find, for most it was reason enough to get out on the water in the bright autumn sunshine.

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bay scallop seeds
Biologists Monitor Heavy Scallop Set In Cape Pogue Bay

Bay scallops have spawned with a vengeance this summer in Cape Pogue Pond. Once ranked among the most productive ponds for scallop landings in the state, Cape Pogue is teeming with juvenile bay scallops, many about the size of a dime.

It takes 18 months for a bay scallop to reach harvestable size, which means if these juvenile scallops survive the coming winter, predation and other environmental factors, the fall of 2011 will be a banner year for scalloping.

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Tribe Bay Scallop Study Shows Sanctuaries Can Revive Fishery

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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Aquinnah Pulls the Plug on Commercial Scalloping Season

Only family scalloping will be allowed in Aquinnah this season, per the advice of the Aquinnah shellfish. Research into the pond’s beds showed an abundance of seed, but not a significant amount of adult scallops for commercial fisherman to harvest.

If an area is discovered to have and abundance of marketable scallops, the shellfish committee will meet again to discuss opening up the pond for commercial fishing.

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Lynne Fraker ferry scallop boat
Commercial Scallop Season Begins

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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Cape Pogue Algae Bloom Returns, Bay Scallops Moved to Sengie

Volunteer Edgartown shellfishermen worked the tides last week to transfer young bay scallops out of harm’s way at Cape Pogue Pond, after an algae bloom seen a year ago returned.

Cochlodinium polykrikoides, a single-cell dinoflagellate, staged a late-summer comeback in the large, pristine bay that lies north of the Dike Bridge on Chappaquiddick. The algae is not harmful to humans but can be toxic to shellfish.

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scallop shell hand
Price of Perfection, Bay Scallops Are Everyone’s Favorite Mollusk

Nothing says small and sweet like bay scallop season.

Jewels for both the palate and year-round economies, bay scallops have become almost unique to Vineyard waters — Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard are two of the last places with a thriving commercial season. For many an Island fishermen bay scalloping has become the backbone of the off-season economy, giving them the ability to make a solid day’s pay in the dead of winter.

They also keep Island chefs happy. Most agree the bay scallop’s flavor stands on its own.

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

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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