A litte about me..
Shelter Island and the nearby areas have a rich history when it comes to commercial fishing. Once home to the famous Shelter Island Oyster Company, the surrounding waters were one of the most fertile oyster and scallop grounds in the world. In 2014, after reading about the upcoming scallop season, I decided to give it a go and get involved.
I found a small 18' Privateer, a few scallop dredges and was just planning to commercial fish on the side, more for fun. It was also about getting back to my roots. My love for fishing started when I was young, with my grandparents in Huntington Beach, Centerport, on a small 13' Sears aluminium. We baited our hooks with worms we collected from the compost pile and rowed around looking for Flounders and Porgies mostly. Fishing with my Oma and Opa was practical, to put food on the table, but I have great memories. I still own that Sears aluminum for sentimental reasons. We used to collect steamers and mussels on the beach. My brother had a small Pickerel Garvey he used to clam with in Northport Bay. We always felt connected to the bays and shell fishing was, and still is, one of my favorite activities.
In 2015, I saw an opportunity to get involved with oysters and give back at the same time. I was really amazed at how good oyster farming is for the bays and harbors. I believe oysters are the solution to many problems our bays and harbors have had for so many years! An adult oyster can filter 50 gallons of water a day. Once again, I jumped on the opportunity and starting filling out the first of many applications. I spent my first year, while waiting on applications, volunteering as much as I could with many amazing people at the Marine Unit at Cornell Cooperative in Southold. These are the same people that have been working on bringing back the scallops and oysters for decades. Fast forward to September 2018, I am harvesting oysters I grew from babies -- aka 'Sheltered Rocks'. I'm delivering oysters to restaurants and talking with chefs. I couldn't have imagined I would be doing this just a few years ago.
I'm looking forward to continuing this journey and hope to share my experience with you as I do. For more, you can check my Instagram or Facebook page for updates. Thanks for reading.
The Sheltered Oyster Company