Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Scraping Bottom for Shellfish Off Greenwich and Stamford

Is there a shellfishing revival in Long Island Sound, or are fishermen simply looking for every chance to scrape together a living? A couple of weeks ago, a woman from Darien told me that Norwalk boats were dredging up mussels near her house. Now a fellow who owns a fish market in Cos Cob wants to lease 183 acres of land under the Sound, off Greenwich and Stamford, for harvesting oysters and clams.

The feeling among the state officials who issue the leases is that most of the good shellfishing spots are well-known and already taken, which they say explains why they get only about 10 applications for new leases a year. The Cos Cob fisherman, Jardar Nygaard, says he knows that it's a risk, but it's worth it.

"I just think that cultivation of shellfish is a good business to be in," Nygaard said. "For one thing, it's sustainable, and basically eco-friendly."

Here's an interesting Greenwich Time story about his plans.

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