Sengekontacket Pond Plays Host To a Million Tiny Pioneers

Over the next year, a million tiny pioneers will arrive at Sengekontacket Pond. Simply by growing from the size of a pencil eraser to a full three inches, a million oysters are the key part of a project launched by Oak Bluffs and Edgartown to cultivate the shellfish in Sengekontacket, which has been found to have nitrogen levels well above acceptable limits.

Chilmark Oyster Season Set to Begin, Scallop Season Extended

Oyster season in Chilmark is set to begin on Monday after the board of selectmen approved the opening of the short season.

At the selectmen’s weekly meeting on Tuesday, the board approved a recommendation from the shellfish committee that permits two heaping bushels a day, Monday through Wednesday. The season ends April 30. Shellfish constable Isaiah Scheffer said half a dozen oystermen had expressed interested in permits — “a controlled amount,” Mr. Scheffer added.

Harvest of the Month: Food from the Sea

On one of the calm, unseasonably warm early December days we had last month, my husband Isaac took our three-year-old son Emmett and me scalloping in Menemsha Pond for the first time. With each dump of the drag on the culling board we were amazed by what we found — tiny sea robins and flounder that Emmett put in a bucket on the deck, jellyfish, eel grass, and an incredible bounty of bay scallops with their beautiful fan-shaped shells.

Oil Spill in Edgartown Harbor Kills Million Baby Oysters and Fouls Waters

Oil Spill in Edgartown Harbor Kills Million Baby Oysters and Fouls Waters

Gazette Senior Writer

An oil spill of unknown origin sullied the pristine water of the outer Edgartown harbor yesterday, ruining an entire crop of juvenile shellfish at a hatchery owned by the Martha's Vineyard Shellfish Group and posing a possible threat to the rich bay scallop beds off the north shore of Chappaquiddick.

Vineyard's Sweetest Fishing Season

Vineyard Haven and Oak Bluffs shellfishermen saw a banner start to the bay scalloping season, and they share their reason why: Lagoon Pond.

Derek Cimeno, shellfish constable for Tisbury, is watching shellfishermen surrounded in bay scallops. "Six hundred bushels of bay scallops were taken in the first two days by family shellfishermen," Mr. Cimeno said.

Shellfish Markets Report Slow Sales

Shellfish Markets Report Slow Sales

By James Kinsella
Gazette Senior Writer

The sale of local shellfish has sometimes slowed but hasn't stopped on Martha's Vineyard, which has become an Island of harvestable shellfish in a sea of toxic red tide.

Louis Larsen, owner of the Net Result in Vineyard Haven, which wholesales much of the Vineyard shellfish to local restaurants, estimates that overall Island demand for shellfish is off 50-60 per cent from normal mid-June levels.

Red Tide Moves Closer; Shellfishermen Watchful

The worst bloom of toxic red tide in the history of New England closed in on the Vineyard yesterday after shellfish beds were shut down from Maine to Nantucket, and anxious Island shellfishermen awaited word about a possible closure in their own waters.

"I am just hoping it doesn't come here," said Rob Garrison, director of the solar hatchery run by the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah).

"It certainly is close," said Rick Karney, director of the Martha's Vineyard Shellfish Group.

Reward for a Shellfish Man: Bagnall Restoration Is Inspiring

Edgartown shellfish constable Paul Bagnall has been named officer of the year by the Massachusetts Shellfish Officers Association.

While he had known of the news for months, he was presented with the award at a meeting of the Edgartown selectmen on Monday. The award was given for the year 2006.

A group of shellfish constables came over from the Cape to make the presentation.

Sengekontacket Pond to Close Permanently in Summer Months

Sengekontacket Pond will be closed to shellfishing for four months each year in the peak summer season on a permanent basis, as a result of intractable problems with high levels of dangerous bacteria.

From now on the pond, which spans Edgartown and Oak Bluffs and is a popular spot for recreational clammers, will be closed from the start of April until the end of September annually.

The closure does not affect swimmers and boaters.

Chilmark Sees Shellfish Restoration as Success

As the Chilmark shellfish department wraps up its first summer, efforts at spearheading restoration projects have been successful. Selectman Warren Doty, chairman of the board and liaison to the department, reported a low mortality rate among planted scallops and a very high production rate.

“It has been a very successful season,” he said.

To date, 100,000 scallop seed have been set to grow in an upweller, purchased by the town this spring and located in Menemsha, as well as in spat bags and pearl nets.