2017-08-31 / Letters to the Editor

Benefits of aquafarms outweigh complaints

To the editor:

I’m appalled with the newly banded contingent of oyster farm nay-sayers who find the strings of aquaculture on the bay’s west side to be “unsightly.”

Really? Spoil the waterfront views, do they? Absolutely ludicrous.

Like kudzu, an insidious, slithering elitism has been invading our quaint island and this absurd assault on oyster farming is the newest example. Waterfront property does not extend past the high tide mark. That means nobody can say what belongs on or in the water except the state, and rightfully so.

If a few (low-profile) strings of oyster cages mess up the view, how about the proliferation of high-profile waterfront McMansions? They must really be doing some view spoiling. Just ask the neighbors whose water views have been reduced to water peeks.

Here’s the thing — the real charm of Jamestown is its rural and New England maritime character. For centuries, working boats plying the waters have been a huge part of the attraction. “Quaint New England fishing village.” – get it? Fishermen, lobstermen, quahoggers and oystermen (gear included) are our precious heritage, for crying out loud.

There was a terrific segment Aug. 20 on “Sunday Morning” with Jane Pauley about oyster farming all across New England and what a boon they are for the economy, environment and oyster lovers. The farms are especially applauded on Cape Cod. Did you know oysters are incredible water filterers to keep the bay clean and pristine? And you have to admit, they’re pretty darn quiet, no noise pollution there.

The bottom line is most of us here on the island love our shell fishermen and look forward to eating extra fresh homegrown oysters. Oyster farming is win-win for everyone. Really, you can barely notice the strings of cages. But inside those cages, just under the water, those oysters are doing their thing.

Jan Whitford
Galley Street

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