Shellfishermen Interested in Taking Part in this Voluntary Transplant Should Report to DEM Vessel to Sign In on Morning of Event
PROVIDENCE –The Department of Environmental Management's Marine Fisheries section announces that East Bay shellfishermen will conduct a voluntary "dig and dump" quahog transplant from Bristol Harbor to the Bristol Transplant Bed on Tuesday, May 21 from 8:00 a.m. until noon. Shellfishermen will harvest quahogs from the high-density beds within the closed waters of Bristol Harbor and distribute the clams throughout the Bristol Transplant Bed from their own vessels.
Shellfishermen wishing to take part in the volunteer transplant should report to the on-scene DEM law enforcement patrol boat by 8 a.m. on the day of the transplant and hand-in their license for the duration of the transplant. After distributing the quahogs in the transplant bed, each participating vessel will be inspected and the associated license will be returned to the participant. Transplanted shellfish will be unavailable for harvest until December 2013. This temporary closure will allow the shellfish to spawn and contribute toward replenishing the immediate vicinity and adjacent areas.
DEM's Division of Fish and Wildlife has experienced significant reductions in the commercial license receipts that are used to fund quahog transplants, and therefore is unable to conduct funded quahog transplants this year.
Harvesting Schedule Update
Regulations were recently changed to allow for an annual harvest schedule in High Banks Shellfish Management Area after consideration of research related to the biological contribution of relayed quahogs in dynamic areas. On May 1, the High Banks Shellfish Management Area opened daily, from sunrise to sunset, with a possession limit of three bushels per day for commercial harvesters.