Who We Are
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The Martha's Vineyard Shellfish Group, Inc. (MVSG) is a consortium of the Shellfish Departments of the six towns on Martha's Vineyard. The Group is incorporated as a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization.
For over thirty years the Group's program of community resource management has sought to preserve and expand the Island's traditional shellfisheries. Key to this effort has been the application of innovative aquaculture technology and a continuing vigilance to improve and maintain the good surface water quality crucial to a viable shellfish industry.
The MVSG is governed by a twelve member executive board consisting of the shellfish constable and selectman's appointees from each of the six member towns. The program is under the direction of a Shellfish Biologist/Director who oversees a year round staff of two assistants and a summer staff that may increase up to six during the hatchery production season. Volunteers are also sometimes involved in the operation.
For the past 20 years, this non-profit consortium has pursued a community resource development program for the protection and enhancement of the Island's economically important shellfish species i.e., quahogs, bay scallops, and oysters. The program has concentrated on the development and application of innovative aquaculture techniques for the enhancement of public shellfish stocks.
Funding from a technical assistance grant from the Economic Development Administration of the Department of Commerce launched the project in the late 1970's and a Federal grant from the Office of Coastal Zone Management under the Coastal Energy Impact Program resulted in the construction of the production facility, the nation's first public solar shellfish hatchery, in the early 1980's.