The Shellfish Commission encourages the development of shellfish aquaculture in town waters. It benefits the town in several ways:
+ provides a local source of food that is nutritious and sustainable.
+ improves the quality of Stonington’s coastal waters in several ways.
- Aquaculture operations have a vested interest in maintaining excellent water quality. Shellfish growers must meet the exacting standards of the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)/Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Program (ISSP). These standards require extensive monitoring for fecal coliform bacteria, harmful algal toxins, and other contaminants. The standards of water used to grow shellfish for human consumption are the most stringent of all water quality classifications, far exceeding those required for swimming.
- Shellfish improve water quality and clarity by removing excess nutrients, particulates, and organic material. Improved water clarity enhances habitat for sea grasses such as eelgrass and other submerged aquatic vegetation.
+ provides economic diversity, job opportunities, and a tradition of “working the sea” that is part of the culture and history of Stonington.