Cape Cod Project to Protect Shellfish Hatchery & Coastal Habitat

This image shows the proposed protected area.
This image shows the proposed protected area.

The Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance, local shellfishermen and conservation groups are working with state Senator Dan Wolf on a public-private partnership that aims to protect 39 acres of barrier beach and marine habitat in Dennis, MA, and ensure the future operation of the Aquacultural Research Corporation’s shellfish hatchery—the primary producer of shellfish for the majority of shellfish growers on Cape Cod and coastal Massachusetts.

The project’s goals include:

* modernizing the ACR facility
• conserving coastal dunes, wetlands and tidal flats
• preserving Cape-based jobs and livelihoods
• ensuring a reliable source of clam and oyster seed for use in aquaculture businesses, as well as town programs that provide shellfish beds for both commercial and recreational use
• providing spat-on-shell for towns to use to create oyster reefs in order to increase shellfish habitat and science-based water-quality improvement to help meet wastewater pollution goals
• establishing a venue for aquaculture and restoration research
• creating a Cape Cod-based location for the education of future shellfish growers and practitioners

Proponents of the project estimate that the ARC hatchery supports more than 1,400 regional jobs in commercial shellfishing and the seafood industry, as well as 17,000 recreational fishermen.

Coastal dunes would be protected.
Coastal dunes would be protected under the proposal.