Fishing and Shellfishing


  • The permitting on dredging is tedious – is there way to fast-track certain spots? 
  • Granular sand in the harbor needs to be removed. It is smothering eelgrass beds. 
  • Incorporate dredging with improving shellfish beds. • How to create dredging plans that have multiple benefits for navigation AND fishing/shellfishing? 
  • Need dredging mid-harbor to create flow of water for navigation and health of eelgrass. 
  • Hither creek needs to be dredged – the water used to be above people’s heads.

Impacts of Water Quality

  • State deems certain areas of the harbor closed to shellfishing due to perceived risk of poor water quality by default of a certain number of boats/moorings – even though the water is tested by the town and results show good water quality. 
  • Opening of the harbor shellfish beds are often closed due to water quality issues – there is a mooring field right there with heads on boats. • The town should look at the mooring grid and see if people are ok with shifting it around. 
  • Shellfish closures in Madaket Harbor. 
  • Water quality issues from fecal matter from birds – is there any way to mount an apparatus to keep the birds from landing near shellfish areas? 
  • Green lawn is a trend – big issue with fertilizer. • How to convince people that green lawns along the waterfront result in poor water quality and thus reduced shellfish habitat?


  • Trying to find more acreage for more areas for aquaculture. • Space open in Polpis harbor for more aquaculture but it is a different type of bottom. 
  • If there is more interested, contact Tara, create a plan and then the state will conduct a formal survey of the area 
  • Shellfish regulations need to be reviewed before approving new shellfish proposals. 
  • Updating language for aquaculture. 
  • Focus on adding shellfish areas that are accessible by shore rather than solely by boat. 
  • We don’t want family shellfishing areas to be forgotten as we look out for commercial shellfishing. 
  • Need for a commercial dock where people can load/unload gear/catch. 
  • Can the town use already-in-place infrastructure (from old property, etc.)? • E.g., old concrete boat launch at children’s beach that is currently not in use. 
  • What can we do to keep shellfish culture and history alive? • Encourage people to shellfish - locals, seasonal visitors.


  • Are there data/information on annual quahog, little neck, and cherrystone population? 
  • Each year the bay scallop harvest can be projected – but yearly quahog surveys have not been conducted since 2017. 
  • Bay scallop fishery access – eelgrass beds are receding and are present in deeper and deeper water which makes it inaccessible to a lot of people. 
  • Extend the season for softshell clams and quahogs into summertime (so summer visitors, etc. can experience shellfishing) – currently closed June-August. 
  • Some individuals want to know where to look for clams and mussels – it is hard to find that information and it is not always public knowledge. • Town of Nantucket has data for species where surveying in done on the Natural Resources department website.


  • The commercial scallop industry is aging out – how do you get younger generations to enter the field? 
  • Implement a school-to-work program or marine vocation program. • E.g., if someone is interested in high school, the program could provide them with an opportunity to gain experience. 
  • Expensive to enter scallop fishing and there are 40+ days of training required – cut the training days in half. 


  • Where can a recreational fishermen catch finfish besides from Brant Point? • Polpis 
  • Monomoy shore 
  • The mouth of the creeks on the outgoing tide 
  • All the inside of the harbor has good fishing 
  • Squidding has been banned from a lot of town docks because of ink. • Is there a way to designate an area for squidding?