Connecticut’s Oyster Industry and Farmers Get Boost From New Legislation
If you love seafood as much as I do and prefer to purchase locally, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont just signed new legislation that will give Connecticut's shellfish industry and it's shoreline land owners a break from the red tape.
In an announcement on Connecticut's official website CT.Gov, Governor Lamont has announced the enactment of Public Act 21-24, which basically allows the oyster farmers along the shoreline more wiggle room in the strict laws governing them when it comes to their oyster beds along Long Island Sound. The Act will also allow the reformation of The Connecticut Seafood Council, whose purpose is to promote and help with the sales of Connecticut's seafood products.
The third aspect of the Act is one that should spell some serious relief for landowners along the shoreline, it extends the powers of CT Public Act 490, which will allow qualifying landowners the ability to classify their land as farms, thereby reducing property tax rates and allowing more shellfish farms to set up shop.
According to the article, Connecticut shellfish industry brings in over 30 million dollars annually, while keeping over 300 workers employed at the over 70,000 acres of aquaculture farms here in the state.
The most famous oyster that comes out of Long Island Sound is one of the most famous names in oysters around the world, the Blue Point Oyster. Originally cultivated on Long Island's Great South Bay in the town of Blue Point, NY, cultivation of the world-famous Blue Point Oyster has primarily moved to Long Island Sound, with Westport and Norwalk's oyster farms leading the charge in maintaining the legendary lineage.
I hope that with these changes, the reformed CT Seafood Council will also assist CT's lobstermen, clam diggers, and commercial fishermen also. I've read about the struggles of the Long Island Sound lobster boats and their crews, they've been subject to environmental restrictions for decades to allow for the hopeful return and growth of the Sound. This new act is a step in the right direction.