New vessel restoring Peconic shellfish population

Project SERV is a new not-for-profit organization dedicated to the restoration of depleted shellfish populations, which since 1984 have dropped nearly 6,000 pounds per year in the Peconic Estuary.
SERV stands for Spawning Early Release Vessel, a 60-foot oil tanker-turned mobile hatchery for millions of clam and scallop larvae. The vessel is designed to release large quantities of larvae after an incubation period of two weeks into the wild in a cold setting earlier in the season then is typically done in the aquaculture industry, said the project’s founder Paul Matthews.
Using the SERV method, Mr. Matthews estimates that about 75 percent of the eggs would survive the incubation period, and “mobile feasts” of algae would ensure larval survival as they find their sea legs in underwater locations all over the country.
A fundraiser is planned for Project SERV on Friday, June 18, at Martha Clara Vineyards in Riverhead.
Read more about this unique approach to clam and scallop restoration in Thursday’s print and online editions.
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