$80,000 Provided to Support Cape and Islands Shellfishing Industry

FALMOUTH – Eight Cape Cod and Islands towns have benefited from $79,950 in COVID-19 relief grants to assist with municipal shellfish propagation efforts.

The funds were awarded by the Woods Hole and Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sea Grant Programs, and will help the industry hit hard by the pandemic, according to Harriet Booth, marine resource specialist at the Woods Hole Sea Grant and Cape Cod Cooperative Extension in a statement.

“Due to the pandemic, municipal shellfish propagation programs have not only experienced budget cuts and reduced labor, but there has also been an increase in recreational shellfish activity across the board,” Booth said in the statement.

“This funding was a great opportunity to support these programs in ways that could be tailored to individual towns’ needs, helping the towns bolster local shellfish resources that community members rely on as a source of food and recreation, especially during these challenging times.” 

Cape Cod 5 and the Massachusetts Oyster Project provided $5,000 each to the effort, as well.

The Town of Barnstable received $10,000 to purchase oysters from Barnstable shellfish growers.

The Brewster Department of Natural Resources received $7,450 to purchase oysters and quahogs from Brewster shellfish growers and purchase shellfish seeds.

$10,000 went to Chatham’s Shellfish Division to purchase oysters from Chatham shellfish growers and purchase quahog seed.

The Town of Eastham’s Natural Resources Department received $5,000 to purchase oysters from local growers and purchase quahog seed.

Edgartown Shellfish Department received $7,500 for the construction of an upweller for shellfish seed and $5,000 to purchase oysters from shellfish growers.

$10,000 each went to the Towns of Truro and Wellfleet Shellfish Departments to purchase oysters from local shellfish growers, and $5,000 went to Yarmouth’s Division of Natural Resources to also purchase local oysters.

“Given the conditions unique to each of the Commonwealth’s municipalities we wanted to ensure that these funds were applied to support a range of stakeholders,” said Marine Extension Specialist at MIT Sea Grant Danny Badger. 

“(That includes) shellfish growers and harvesters whose market demand evaporated with the shut-down of restaurants, recreational harvesters who increasingly rely on municipally managed shellfish populations for food, and many others through projects tailored to, and maximized for, each community.”

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native from Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the CapeCod.com News Center in 2019.

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