Blue Stream Shellfish considers aquaculture site in Mattapoisett
MATTAPOISETT — Dale Leavitt of Blue Stream Shellfish presented the Mattapoisett Board of Selectmen with his plan to use Mattapoisett waters to create an aquaculture site for oysters and kelp during a meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 13.
Leavitt’s phased plan will make use of the southern half of the former Taylor Seafood aquaculture farm in Nasketucket Bay. Leavitt said that he would start with a 10 acre plot, and focus on data collection for the first year to measure what he can yield from the site. After the first year, Leavitt plans to add 20 acre plots in the second and third year to reach a 50 acre total for the new aquaculture site.
Leavitt said that he chose the southern half of the site, due to its relatively uniform depth, with an average of 20 feet. Plans for the site include oyster cages, and will grow kelp for human consumption. The kelp lines placed seven feet below the water’s surface. The kelp lines will be 200 feet long. They will be placed over oyster cage trawls sometime in late October or early November, and taken out in May.
Leavitt is a professor of Marine Biology and Aquaculture Extension Specialist at Roger Williams University. He said that he is also considering a potential aquaculture site in New Bedford. With the two sites, he said that he could provide new job opportunities in addition to oysters and kelp.
Leavitt also said that Blue Stream Shellfish will survey the existing 100 acre site, and remove any gear that may have been left from previous users.
The Board of Selectmen will hold a hearing on Blue Stream Shellfish’s request to have the previous user’s license transferred for the new aquaculture site at their next meeting. The Aug. 13 hearing was purely informational, and no final decisions were made.