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.

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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.

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clamming at Senge
The Fishermen

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 Shellfishing in Federal Water Zones

Though state waters around the Vineyard, Nantucket and south and east of Cape Cod remain clear of red tide, the state late last week as a precautionary measure closed federal waters to shellfishing. These are waters that are more than three miles from shore.

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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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Saving the Planet, One Oyster at a Time

The Copenhagen climate summit has been much in the news for two weeks and the media is full of stories about rising carbon dioxide (C02) levels, increasing acidity of the oceans, drastic changes in weather patterns, the warmest decade on record, melting glaciers, rising sea water levels and coastal communities in imminent danger of inundation. And that’s just the tip of the melting iceberg!

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Aquaculture Stimulus

Aquaculture Stimulus

We have seen the future and this is it: American oysters, bay scallops, blue mussels, quahaugs and softshell clams, thriving by the thousands in natural nurseries that are the coastal ponds and embayments of the Vineyard. The nurseries are aided by the able work of the Martha’s Vineyard Shellfish Group, which grows millions of seed shellfish and provides them to the towns for sowing — both in the wild and in saltwater farms tended by entrepreneurial fishermen.

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Shellfish Shuffle: Selectmen Seek Solutions for Up-Island Access

Tisbury Great Pond was closed to shellfishing as of yesterday, while Squibnocket Pond will be open for harvesting on Monday, the Chilmark selectmen announced at their meeting Tuesday.

But the new location presents access problems: a road and parking lot repair project has left boulders blocking fisherman from accessing Squibnocket Pond with boats or trailers. And because the boulders are located in a wetland, the board has to get a permit from the town conservation commission before moving them.

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oyster seed shellfish
Water Quality and Crack Staff Deliver Banner Crop of Shellfish

The Martha’s Vineyard Shellfish Group had one of its most productive summers, mass producing millions of baby quahaugs, bay scallops and oysters. And to top it all off, the shellfish hatchery produced twice the usual numbers of bay scallop seed.

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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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