Aquaculture site approved for Blue Stream Shellfish

Sep 10, 2019

MATTAPOISETT — The Mattapoisett Board of Selectmen approved a permit transfer for Dale Leavitt of Blue Stream Shellfish to use a ten acre plot in Nasketucket Bay for an aquaculture site for oysters and kelp on Tuesday, Sept. 10.

The permit was transferred from the former 100 acre aquaculture farm owned by Taylor Seafood. Leavitt has agreed to survey the former site, and remove any gear that may have been left by the previous owner.

In an informational meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 13, Leavitt proposed a phased plan to eventually use the southern half of the Taylor Seafood Site, starting with ten acres this year, and then adding 20 acres a year for the next two years. Leavitt said that he chose the southern half of the site, due to its relatively uniform depth, with an average of 20 feet. 

On Sept. 10 Leavitt said that the first year would mainly be used for data collection to evaluate the growth rate at the site, placing about 10 to 20 cages of oysters to start. He also said that he would place a kelp line at the Site from October to April, as kelp is a winter crop that doesn’t grow as well in the summer. 

Kelp can be used for human consumption as well as to make products like toothpaste and shampoo.

Leavitt is a professor of Marine Biology and Aquaculture Extension Specialist at Roger Williams University. In addition to cleaning up the Taylor Seafood  aquaculture site, he has offered his advice and expertise to help with the town’s upwelling system used for a small oyster farm at Long Wharf.

Harbormaster Jamie McIntosh vouched for Leavitt at the Sept. 10 Board of Selectmen meeting. “I stand behind him in any venture he would like to do in the Town of Mattapoisett,” McIntosh said.