RI DEM Public Notice Concerning Proposed Regulatory Changes

“The RI DEM proposes amendments to the Rhode Island Marine Fisheries Regulations (RIMFR) and gives notice of intent to hold a workshop and public hearing to afford interested parties the opportunity for public comment.”

The public hearing will be at 6:00PM on September, 21, 2025 at the URI Graduate School of Oceanography, in the Hazard Room, with a workshop to to be held before the public hearing at 4:30PM.

To view and learn more on the proposals click here.

Shellfish Management Plan (SMP) Stakeholder Meeting

Come join us for the 2015 SMP stakeholder meeting

 Please join us for a Shellfish Management Plan (SMP) Stakeholder Meeting
Thursday, June 25th, 2015, 5:00-7:00pm
Corless Auditorium, URI Bay Campus (map attached)

Want to learn how to safely shuck a clam and oyster?

Interested in growing oysters at your dock?

Wondering how you can go clamming with an expert this summer?

All this info and more at our next SMP stakeholder meeting!

Come hear progress since the launch of the SMP in November, including work on implementing the SMP recommendations, more shellfish research money available for 2016, clamming classes hosted by DEM, what you need to know/do to keep your shellfish safe for consumption, and a feature presentation on the ins and outs of shellfish restoration in Rhode Island. As a special treat, learn from a long-time quahogger how to properly shuck shellfish – Live demo and tasting included! We will also hear a URI students thesis results

Fruit, cookies, and beverages will be provided. Please rsvp to smp@etal.uri.edu. Feel free to call Azure at (401)874-6197 if you have any questions/concerns.



DEM annual re-classification of shellfish waters and seasonal closures

Shared on behalf of RI DEM:

DEM annual re-classification of shellfish waters and seasonal closures – Improved water quality leads to two areas open in Newport and Westerly.

In response to SMP stakeholder requests, DEM added a layer to their interactive map that includes coordinates for all the corners, points and intersections of closure lines for each of the closure descriptions in addition to their usual reference descriptions. These are provided as an aid to locating closure lines however the written description within the notice is the legal description in determining where the closure lines are. See the DEM Notice of Polluted Shellfishing Grounds May 2015.

More info and a new interactive mapping portal are available here or by calling DEM’s Office of Water Resources at 222-3961.

Spring 2015 SMP Newsletter

Welcome and long-live the long-awaited SPRING! We hope you’re all bustling like birds and bees with house, farm, and fishing projects. We’ve all survived the winter and now it’s time to look ahead to bright and productive spring & summer seasons!

On the SMP front, work has continued. Some news to share:

    • The SMP Implementation Team, composed of state and industry leaders, is hard at work developing a strategy to make your SMP recommendations happen.
    • A SMP stakeholder meeting will be held on Thurs. June 25th, 5:00-7:00pm in Corless Auditorium on the URI Bay Campus to discuss the SMP Implementation of recommendations,research opportunities, and upcoming events. Feature presentation on shellfish restoration work by RWU’s Matt Griffin.
    • The SMP Team is working hard in partnership with our state and national leadership to formally launch a Rhode Island Shellfish Initiative, in alignment with NOAA’s National Shellfish Initiative. A state initiative will keep the focus and momentum on shellfish resources, industries, and local seafood promotion in the state as well as generate new and exciting synergies and opportunities.
    • RI DEM, the wild harvest shellfish industry, and the Department of Health successfully crafted new shellfish handling regulations to help maintain the excellent reputation for quality and safety of Rhode Island-harvested shellfish. Full regulations can be found here on page 26.
    • Rhode Island Sea Grant is offering funding for 2016-2018 research projects related
      to: a) improved understanding of shellfish stock assessment and populations, and b) impacts of climate change on finfish and shellfish in Narragansett Bay. More info can be found here; proposals are due June 1st.
    • Be sure to join the shellfish community and our state leadership on May 28th, 11:30am- 5:00pm for Agriculture Day at the State House in Providence. Amongst the festivities & food, the winners of this year’s Local Agriculture and Seafood Act (LASA) grants will be announced.
    • Looking down the pike, some events to mark on your calendars: The 4th Annual  Quahoggers Jamboree on June 24th from 5-8pm at the Warwick Library; 2nd Annual Oyster Festival on June 21st @ 11am in Bristol ; August 7/8/9th is the annual Charlestown Seafood Festival; Sept. 12/13th is the Rhode Island Seafood Festival in Galilee; and Sept.19th is the Ocean State Oyster Festival in Providence.  These are only some of the many shellfish-related events sure to happen this summer. Stay tuned; we’ll post more as we hear of them. If you have an event to share, please email us!
    • Summer season is approaching which means digging your own shellfish! Remember to KEEP IT COLD! Bring ice packs and a cooler with you to the clam flats, do not leave shellfish in a hot car, and refrigerate in a dry bowl when you return home. Cold shellfish are safe shellfish!
    • RI DEM will be carrying on the SMP tradition and hosting three “Clamming 101” classes this summer. Dates to be decided; contact Kim.Sullivan@DEM.RI.Gov for more info and to sign up.
    • Reminder: In February, the RI DEM Office of Water Resources’ Shellfish Program went live with a new and improved website, complete with an interactive shellfish map and new email address going directly to shellfish program staff to better respond to missing/damaged signs or data requests. The email: dem.shellfish@dem.ri.gov and website.

Remember, the SMP document can be found at: http://www.rismp.org/the-plan/.  There will be future opportunity to update the SMP; we’ll keep you posted. Hope to see you soon! As always, feel free to contact us or stop by to share news/events/concerns. smp@etal.uri.edu or 401.874.6197.

Thank you,
The SMP Team

NEW Shellfish Regulations for 2015

Posted on behalf of RI DEM


More information can be found on the RI DEM website here.

Tagging (All year)
Shellfish tags must be completed and attached to bags or containers prior to any shellfish taken being placed in containers and must include harvest commencement time. Harvest commencement time is when the first shellfish on a given day is taken from the water (the initial commencement time is the same on all your tags for that day).

Between November 1 – April 30
All shellfish must be delivered to a dealer within 20 hours of the commencement of harvest.

Between May 1 – October 31
All shellfish must be delivered to a dealer within 10 hours of the commencement of harvest.

Shellfish that are harvested from the coastal ponds must be adequately iced or refrigerated within 5 hours of the commencement of harvest and delivered to the dealer within 10 hours of the commencement of harvest.

All shellfish need to be kept in the shade while in possession of the harvester, including during land based deliveries.

*Whelks, Ocean Quahogs, and Surf Clams are exempt from these requirements*


Appreciating the ‘Under Loved’


Shared on behalf of Rhode Island Sea Grant

Appreciating the ‘under loved’

Scup took the spotlight at the second annual Rhode Island Seafood Challenge at Johnson & Wales University (JWU) earlier in April, where three student teams prepared the underutilized, but tasty, local fish.

The goal – to raise awareness among budding chefs – and the public – about local, sustainable seafood products.

The event was a partnership between JWU, the Commercial Fisheries Research Foundation and Rhode Island Sea Grant to show just how scrumptious scup, also known as “porgy,” can be.

SAMSUNGScup have an expansive range in the Atlantic, from Maine to North Carolina. They have a mild flavor, making them suitable for a variety of preparations, but the bony, 1-to-2 pound fish is difficult to fillet, and doesn’t yield much meat. These challenges make scup cheap, but that means fishermen don’t always find it profitable to drop nets.

“You’ve heard a lot about scup. It’s sometimes described as underutilized, under eaten, and here’s my favorite one, ‘under loved,’” said Peg Parker, the executive director of the Commercial Fisheries Research Foundation. But new technology, especially an innovative machine developed in Michigan that removes the bones from scup, may change all of that.

With this innovation, boneless scup fillets can be easily produced. “Now we need to create the demand for fish like this,” Parker said.

To read the full article, please click here.

Memorandum of Agreement between the RIDEM and CRMC

Please find attached the newly signed Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) and the Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC) “Concerning the inspection of aquaculture farms for the purpose of ensuring food safety, public health, and enforcement of RIDEM’s Aquaculture of Marine Species in Rhode Island Waters.”

Over the last few years, the aquaculture industry, as well as CRMC and DEM, have recognized the need for a memo of understanding between both agencies concerning aquaculture activities. While CRMC generally conducts and oversees inspection of aquaculture operations in the state, the formal authority has been with DEM to perform these inspections. Both agencies and industry acknowledged that CRMC has been the recognized, capable, and practicing inspection authority and with urgings and support from DEM Division of Agriculture, the MOA was signed in October 2014, giving CRMC designated status on behalf of DEM to perform lease inspections in Rhode Island.

This MOA signifies a willingness and ability to achieve cross-agency collaboration, agency responsiveness to the needs of the industry, and overall an improved and more efficient way of doing business. Congratulations to all involved.

SMP Team


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