Shellfish Fines Coming, Bivalves Blooming
Sara Brown

The Edgartown selectmen Monday approved changes to aquaculture regulations that will allow town shellfish constable Paul Bagnall to write citations for violations.

A first-time violation of town aquaculture bylaws would be accompanied by a $100 penalty, and a second violation, which would come after a week, would have a $500 fine. Under the previous regulations, any violations would go before the selectmen, who would schedule a hearing and write a letter to the offender.“By the time it gets to the board there’s been some fines issued,” Mr. Bagnall said.

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Sengekontacket Closed Again to Shellfishing
Sara Brown

Sengekontacket Pond has been closed to shellfishing for the second time in two weeks due to heavy rainfall. The Edgartown selectmen learned of the closure at their meeting Monday.

The pond, which spans the towns of Oak Bluffs and Edgartown, will remain closed at least until Sunday. It is safe for swimming and boating.

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Sengekontacket Closed to Shellfishing
Olivia Hull
Sengekontacket is closed to shellfishing, the shellfish constable announced early Friday, after 0.28 inches of rain was recorded on the rain gauge at the Hughes Hatchery. The amount surpasses the 0.2 inches of rain threshold established in the 2012 Sanitary Survey for the pond. Shellfishing there will be prohibited for at least five days, and may be reopened on Wednesday as long as another heavy rain event does not occur in the meantime. Rain is measured daily at the pond. The Sanitary Survey’s threshold is in effect during the months of July, August and September.
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Sengekontacket Pond Plays Host To a Million Tiny Pioneers
Sara Brown
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.
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Chilmark Oyster Season Set to Begin, Scallop Season Extended
Remy Tumin

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.

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Harvest of the Month: Food from the Sea
Noli Taylor

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.

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

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

By JULIA WELLS
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.

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Shellfish Kill at Lagoon Hatchery; Ninety Per Cent of Crop Is Lost; Failing Water Quality Is Cited
Julia Wells

The director of the Martha's Vineyard Shellfish Group said yesterday that nearly four million healthy juvenile shellfish under culture at his Lagoon Pond hatchery have died in the last three weeks because of extremely poor water quality in the pond.

The deteriorating water quality has not affected mature shellfish and there is no danger to humans who eat shellfish from the pond.

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Vineyard's Sweetest Fishing Season
Mark Alan Lovewell

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.

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Shellfish Markets Report Slow Sales
James Kinsella

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.

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