Tisbury selectmen set public hearing for shellfish regulation

Tisbury selectmen set public hearing for shellfish regulation

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The Tisbury selectmen will convene a public hearing on March 20 to consider a possible amendment to town shellfish regulations, in response to a written request from commercial fisherman Glenn Pachico who attended the selectmen’s meeting Tuesday with his sons Tyler and Mitchell.

Mr. Pachico has asked the town to amend the a regulation that allows only two commercial shellfish limits to be landed per boat, per day. He wants to amend the regulation so as to allow a family with several permitted members to share a boat or boats.

Shellfish constable Danielle Ewart said the shellfish advisory committee had already voted unanimously at a meeting on November 10 against any change.

Selectman Tristan Israel suggested that the committee revisit the issue and take another vote before the March hearing.

Mr. Pachico also asked for clarification on whether shellfish regulations allow for taking two species in one day.

Ms. Ewart agreed the regulation’s wording is ambiguous and said that until the shellfish committee can address it, she would allow fishermen a combination of half a limit of quahogs and half a limit of scallops, provided they tell her first, so that she can check their catch.

Mr. Pachico asked whether shellfishermen were allowed to bring a guest along on their boats. Ms. Ewart said she had no objection, as long as the permit holder sticks to the limit.

Selectman chairman Geoghan Coogan cut the discussion short with the suggestion that Mr. Pachico request a public hearing as the proper forum for the selectmen’s discussion and decision on any proposed changes in shellfish regulations.

In other business, the selectmen approved paying $21,000 of a $30,000 bill from HKT architects for additional work done to address issues with the new Emergency Services Facility’s building envelope. They also approved a request from Dukes County Regional Housing Authority executive director David Vigneault for $48,072, as Tisbury’s share of the agency’s $248,170 fiscal 2013 administrative budget.

The selectmen agreed to a request from former selectman Denys Wortman to put a non-binding question on the ballot to gauge voter support for a roundabout at the four-way Blinker intersection in Oak Bluffs.