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A plan to restore the shellfish population in Long Island’s Bellport Bay faces opposition

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J.D. Allen
/
WSHU Public Radio

The Town of Brookhaven wants to double the size of a two-acre shellfish management area in Bellport Bay, and pause fishing there while young shellfish grow to maturity.

Decades of pollution and overfishing have destroyed the bay’s once thriving shellfish population.

The new area would be managed by the nonprofit environmental group, Friends of Bellport Bay.

But local baymen are concerned this will hurt business, claiming there’s no other spot on the bay’s north side that’s open for the commercial harvest of shellfish.

Supporters of the plan say the soil at the bottom of the bay is better for growing shellfish than it is for fishing. The location also leaves an area along the coast open for harvesting.

The town board is expected to vote on the plan as early as next month.

Sabrina is host and producer of WSHU’s daily podcast After All Things. She also produces the climate podcast Higher Ground and other long-form news and music programs at the station. Sabrina spent two years as a WSHU fellow, working as a reporter and assisting with production of The Full Story.