Aid coming to help keep baymen afloat as government declares Peconic Bay scallop fishery a disaster
The federal government recently declared the Peconic Bay scallop fishery a national disaster, which will allow baymen who make a living on the scallops to collect federal disaster aid.
Since the 1980s, the Peconic Bay scallop has suffered numerous setbacks.
For the past two years, the scallop, considered the jewel of the Peconic Bay, has turned up dead at harvest time.
With 80% to 90% of the scallops turning up dead and more than a million dollars in lost revenue, baymen say they want answers as to how and why.
The Stony Brook Marine and Research Lab is conducting an experiment to find out what is causing the scallops to die off.
Dr. Chris Gobler from the Stony Brook Marine Research Center says there are several factors that are contributing to the scallops' demise.
"Temperatures are warmer, oxygen levels are low, or harmful algal blooms are on the rise," Gobler said. "There's a parasite involved, so we need to get to the root of it all, come up with solutions, and hopefully get this fishery back."
It is not known how much money in federal aid will be awarded to the baymen, however some of the aid could be used to fund efforts to restore the Peconic Bay scallop.