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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Red Tide Moves Closer; Shellfishermen Watchful
Mark Alan Lovewell

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.

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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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Revived Nantucket Bay Scallop Harvest Pushes Down Prices
Mark Alan Lovewell

Vineyard consumers are enjoying the lowest retail prices on bay scallops in at least ten years thanks to a renewed abundance of the tasty bivalve on Nantucket.

The Nantucket resurgence has been pushing down wholesale as well as retail prices on both Islands.

At Menemsha Seafood in Chilmark, owner Stanley Larsen said the retail price for bay scallops is around $16. His cousin, Louis Larsen of the Net Result, a fish market in Vineyard Haven, said the retail price is about the same at his store.

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Reward for a Shellfish Man: Bagnall Restoration Is Inspiring
Mark Alan Lovewell

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.

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Sengekontacket Pond to Close Permanently in Summer Months
Mike Seccombe

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.

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Chilmark Sees Shellfish Restoration as Success
Julia Rappaport

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.

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The Fishermen
Mark Alan Lovewell

The state reopened coastal ponds to shellfishing on Saturday, following a closure due to heavy rains which ended early last week. The state Division of Marine Fisheries had issued the closure to more than 30 Massachusetts towns on Sept. 29, based on the expectation that water quality in coastal ponds would diminish after three days of heavy rains.

Shellfish managers were typically concerned that road runoff would fill the ponds with excessive bacteria.

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State Closes Eastern Nantucket Sound to Shellfishing

The state Division of Marine Fisheries yesterday expanded closed shellfish areas to include the eastern side of Nantucket Sound due to red tide. The closure does not affect fish or shellfish harvested and landed in Vineyard waters.

The agency sent out the notification for the benefit of shellfishermen and fish markets that sell shellfish wholesale and retail. Affected shellfish include surf clams, ocean quahaugs, mussels, carnivorous snails and whole sea scallops. Those scallops are exempt if only the adductor muscle is landed.

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