Nantucket’s commercial scalloping season opened on Tuesday with some hopeful signs following a disappointing harvest last year.
Island fisherman reported that conditions were better than last year, which ended with a near record-low harvest, and scallops opened at $34 per pound retail at local fish markets.
With the rain pouring down, about 20 boats took to the waters of Nantucket and Madaket harbors at sunrise Tuesday morning. Most were able to gather their five-bushel limit within a few hours or less.
At Souza’s Seafood shanty on Trotter’s Lane, Mark Souza was opening scallops around 3 p.m. Tuesday afternoon and said the fishing was good in Madaket, where about six to eight boats were scalloping.
"I'm just hoping they're in other spots - you never know," Souza said.
Watch him opening scallops at the Souza's Seafood shanty Tuesday with Dundee Perkins:
Bruce Beebe, Steve Lawrence, Sheamus Hayes, and Ray DeCosta were all unloading at the Boat Basin and Old North Wharf this morning and offered a similar assessment of opening day: not great, but definitely better than last year.
Lawrence, who has been scalloping for 44 years, said he was concerned with the amount of dead scallops he was pulling up in his dredges. He returned to the Nantucket Boat Basin to unload around 11 a.m.The retail price opened at $34 at Sayle’s Seafood, while other fish markets around the island had not yet started selling as of Tuesday afternoon.