National Fisherman


After leasing a portion of Duxbury Bay from the town, Skip Bennett settled on growing quahogs. Bennett, the son of a Duxbury fisherman, had been told it was a bad idea, and sure enough, his clams died.

He had another plan: oysters. But friends said this foray was crazier than the first. It was the early 1990s, and Bennett was in uncharted territory. Oysters are not native to Duxbury waters and did not grow in the bay.

Through much trial and error, the oyster beds were sown and eventually flourished, and today a wave of oyster growers is following in his footsteps.

"We learned by killing a lot of oysters," said Bennett, owner of Island Creek Oysters. "It was before the Internet, so it was hard to get information."

There are now about 30 oyster farms operating in Duxbury Bay, according to the harbormaster's office. Their handiwork was on display last Sunday, when 12 farms fed a crowd of 300 guests at the Duxbury Oyster Festival, which raised $7,500 to benefit the Duxbury Student Union.

Under a white tent at the Winsor House Inn, with musical accompaniment from a live band, festival-goers sampled the freshly shucked bivalves donated from each farm. Duxbury oysters are known for their sweet-salty balance and buttery texture, though there are minor variations among farms, depending on their location in the bay.

Read the full story at the Boston Globe>>

Inside the Industry

The following was released by the Maine Department of Marine Resources on Jan. 22:

The Maine Department of Marine Resources announced an emergency regulation that will support the continued rebuilding effort in Maine’s scallop fishery. The rule, effective January 23, 2016, will close the Muscle Ridge Area near South Thomaston and the Western Penobscot Bay Area.

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Louisiana’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, which governs commercial and recreational fishing in the state, got a new boss in January. Charlie Melancon, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and state legislator, was appointed to the job by the state’s new governor, John Bel Edwards.

Although much of his non-political work in the past has centered on the state’s sugar cane industry, Melancon said he is confident that other experience, including working closely with fishermen when in Congress, has prepared him well for this new challenge.

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