Monday, May 23, 2011

Boston Bruin Dennis Siedenberg stops in at Mercato Del Mare during Oyster Shucking Lessons


The oyster shucking lessons conducted by Liz and Kari at the Mercato del Mare on Salem Street on the North End were great fun. The store is an efficient use of space with a great selection of fresh seafood despite its small footprint. Fresh made sushi in the front window drew a steady stream of foot traffic.

Liz talked us through the parts of an oyster and the points of attack. Leverage is important as you go after the hinge with your shucking knife.

Despite their best efforts to protect us from ourselves there were one or two nicked fingers.

One of the highlights of the day was the appearance of Boston Bruin Dennis Siedenberg who stopped in for some sushi. He graciously posed for photos with MOP supporters donning a MOP baseball cap as shown below. His likable presence supported the widely held axiom that hockey players are the most approachable class of  professional athlete. Let's hope he stops into visit Po, Keri and Liz as a Stanley Cup winner in a couple of weeks.

If you missed the event, Kari and Liz host shucking classes every Saturday afternoon from 1-3. At the end of the day, we all had the technique down. Not only does the aquatic duo look great in Mass Oyster Project baseball caps, but also they are nice, fun people.

The sushi here is incredible. Po produced some excellent product for us.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Maryland Thinks Big with Oysters

Maryland Thinks Big With Oysters

Excerpted from  a Washington Post Article  

The Chesapeake Bay is the nation’s largest estuary, the lifeblood of Maryland and Virginia. It is a precious resource that shapes cultural identities — such as that of the now-threatened waterman — and the region’s way of life.

Maryland has recently embarked on a new effort to increase the Chesapeake Bay oyster population, encouraging them to procreate by expanding their habitat, increasing aquaculture farming and setting aside larger river sanctuaries to protect them from harvesters.

 “We believe the Chesapeake Bay cannot be restored without the restoration of oysters,” said Tom O’Connell, director of fisheries services for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. He explained that oysters play a major role in filtering pollution.

Map showing Chesapeake Bay between Maryland and Virginia and its watershed extending through Pennsylvania and into central New York State.

O’Connell said the state is determined to improve on a previous effort. After spending $50 million in state and federal funds since 1994, Maryland has managed only to maintain the oyster population at a low level — 36,000, a 70 percent drop from what it was 30 years ago. That failure dampens optimism that the historic oyster population can ever be restored.

The drive to go bigger on oyster restoration goes beyond Maryland’s program, which began with the opening of the harvest season in September. In the fall, the Army Corps of Engineers is expected to announce its Native Oyster Restoration Master Plan for the bay.

The master plan aims to expand the oyster habitat in both Maryland and Virginia from 450 acres to tens of thousands of acres between 2012 and 2032 at a cost of $66 million, mostly federal dollars, according to the corps.

With $66 million going into the Chesapeake, shouldn’t we in Massachusetts begin thinking about tapping into that stream of Federal dollars to improve our water quality and create aquascience jobs here?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Volunteer Needed This Friday Afternoon Gulf Oysters Face Fresh Threat

Volunteer Needed This Friday

If you have a couple hours to spare this Friday afternoon May 13, MOP could use your help on the water. Email Don't wear your best clothes as you might get a bit dirty.

Louisiana Oyster Growers Could Face a Second Hit

According to the SeafoodNews gulf oysters may be in for it again. Louisiana oyster growers, just getting over the damage from the BP spill and closures, are facing a new threat: fresh water from the flooding Mississippi.  Army Corps of Engineer plans to divert floodwaters away from New Orleans may result in massive oyster damage on the remaining productive beds. Here is a liink to the latest map infromation from NOOA.