I took this photo "Buoy 8" from my small shellfish boat. While i had spent most of my time fishing offshore on large fishing vessels I would spend my off-time on Shinnecock Bay. I rebuilt an old 19 ft Mako for commercial clamming and bay scalloping. The custom design aided in manual gathering of shellfish. Gathering by mechanical means is forbidden to ensure the health of shellfish population. This means that clamming and scalloping are done old-school. The use of the wind and tide aid clam boats in drifting while the fishermen pulls a rake head through the mud. The clams gather in the rake during the drift and are pulled up from the bottom by an attached aluminum pole. The work is exhausting as you're exposed to the elements engaged in hard manual labor. Clams are sorted and bagged then brought to market fresh. In November bay scallop season opens. Custom dredges are dragged behind the boat gathering scallops as the boat spirals around. Dredges are pulled from the bottom to the cull board. Here, undersized scallops are discarded along with ones which don't have a yearly growth ring. Thus, helping maintain the population. As of recent years the "Red Tide" has decimated the shellfish stock. Nitrate runoff and pollution have fueled the die-off, decimating the once plentiful wild stock of Long Island bay scallops.
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