Shellfish areas closed due to heavy rain


Friday and Saturday’s heavy rain did more than make the fairgrounds in West Tisbury muddy and the streets of Vineyard Haven nearly impassable, they also caused a large amount of runoff that closed the Island’s shellfish beds.

According to Edgartown police, the Sengekontacket beds were the first to close. Other Edgartown areas are also closed through dawn on Thursday, according to an alert issued.

The state Division of Marine Fisheries has also ordered areas in Vineyard Haven, West Tisbury, Chilmark, Aquinnah, and Oak Bluffs closed.

According to a memo issued to the boards of selectmen in those towns, “digging, harvesting or collecting and/or attempting to dig, harvest or collect shellfish and the possession of shellfish… is prohibited.”

The areas are closed until further notice, though Edgartown expects to reopen Thursday morning and Lagoon Pond in Vineyard Haven could open as early as Wednesday.