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Shellfish Aquaculture: Growing Fast in Our Region's Waters

Oysters from Signature-Oysters, which is among the community of growers in Katama Bay on Marthas Vineyard.

A bright light in the fishing industry is the growth and sustainability of shellfish aquaculture. In the last decade many oyster farms have been established in the protected and inshore waters of Cape Cod's coast and the islands. On The Point, Mindy Todd hosts a discussion about what it takes to farm oysters, the parallels between aquaculture and agriculture, plus the environmental and social impacts of oyster farming. Guests on the program are: Sandy MacFarlane, president of Coastal Resource Specialists, and retired shellfish biologist and conservation administrator for the town of Orleans; and Sara Brown, news editor at the Vineyard Gazette.  Her article about oyster farming on the Vineyard titled Oyster Rockefellers, A new industry takes off will appear in the Winter/Spring edition of  Martha's Vineyard Magazine. Joining us on the phone from his home on Martha’s Vineyard, Rick Karney, shellfish biologist and director of the Martha’s Vineyard Shellfish Group, and Ryan Smith, oyster farmer on Martha's Vineyard.

Staff from the Southeastern MA Aquaculture Center, Barnstable County Cape Cod Cooperative Extension Marine Program, & Woods Hole Sea Grant will again be offering an 8-week course on the basics of shellfish aquaculture. Classes will be held 6PM – 8PM Mondays from March 7 to May 2, 2016.

Dates for an upcoming Shellfish Volunteer Training Program are yet to be determined, but probably around the end of May/Early June in 2016.  For more information on either training or to register, please emailDiane Murphy or Abigail Archer.



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Mindy Todd is the host and producer of <i>The Point</i> on WCAI which examines critical issues for Cape Cod and the Islands. She brings more than 40 years of experience in radio and television to WCAI.