In a continued
effort to enhance the local commercial fishing industry, the Town of Huntington
has obtained a State grant to help fund a study to determine how well
hatchery-produced clams survive after being seeded in local waters.
collaborative effort between the Town and various agencies will enable us to
better safeguard our shellfish while assisting those who depend on the waters
for a living," Supervisor Frank P. Petrone said. "This study will hopefully shed
new light on how well seeded clams and oysters are surviving and at what
As part of its
shellfish management program, the Town annually places more than one million
seed clams and oysters throughout Huntington's bays and harbors to replenish the
shellfish stock. The Town purchases the seed shellfish from an Oyster Bay
company that produces the seeds in a hatchery.
How well the seed
clams and oysters survive will be the primary focus of the study. In addition,
researchers will carefully examine and compare survival rates for shellfish
planted at different times throughout the growing season.
The study will be
a joint venture between the Town; Marine Sciences Research Center, SUNY Stony
Brook; Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County Marine Program; and the
State Department of Environmental Conservation, Bureau of Shellfisheries.
Earlier this year,
the Town submitted a formal application seeking grant money from the New York
State SeaGrant to help support the study. In September, the Town was notified
that it had been selected as one of six Towns on Long Island to receive funding.
Project costs will cover investigations at six different sites throughout Long
Island – one of the sites being in Huntington. The agreement is expected to be
finalized by the end of this year with work scheduled to begin next
shellfish, including little neck, cherry and chowder clams, is recognized as the
finest tasting and highest quality on the East Coast. Shellfish harvested from
local waters are shipped daily to New York City's Fulton Fish Market and
distributed nationwide. The industry dates back to Colonial times in Huntington
and continues to contribute greatly to the local economy.
Over the past
several years, the Town has undertaken a number of resource management programs
to enhance and protect the local shellfish industry. They include:
- Mariculture program with the
development of a town operated upwelling system to grow-out shellfish. The
pilot project, launched this spring, proved successful and will continue next
- In 2000, the greater
Huntington – Northport Bay complex was designated as a vessel waste
"No-Discharge Zone" through request submitted to the New York State Department
of Environmental Conservation.
- Annual seasonal and
conditional shellfish harvesting programs during the winter months.
- Shellfish transplant programs
designed to re-stock shellfish growing areas depleted from harvesting.
- Bay Scallop Spawner Sanctuary
Project designed to evaluate the possibility of re-introducing the resource to
the bay complex, and to determine survivability during the winter months.
- Marine resource stock
assessment surveys designed to evaluate "standing stocks;"qualify the fishing
effort on the resource; and develop management strategies to help protect and
sustain shellfish resources in the bay complex.