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Martha's Vineyard & Nantucket offers plenty of rich shellfish beds for vacation fun


Town Hall, 51 Spring Street Vineyard Haven, MA Phone: 508-696-4200

Permits for non-resident recreational shellfishing are sold at Town Hall, Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Fees: Non-resident permit fees are $25 for a week; $75 for a month; and $400 for a year.
Limitations: Quahogs may be caught year-round; scallop season of November 1 to the end of March. The landing places are Tashmoo Pond at the foot of Lake Street, Vineyard Haven Harbor at the Town Pier, and Lagoon Pond at the ramp. Regulations and maps and seasonal limits are distributed when a permit is purchased.

Nantucket Marine & Coastal Resource Department, 34 Washington Street (Town Pier) Nantucket, MA Phone: 508-228-7261

Town-issued recreational shellfish licenses are required and issued April 1 through March 31. Anyone over the age of 14 must have a license to take shellfish. Fishers under age 14 must be with a licensed adult.
Purchase licenses at the police department, 4 Fairgrounds Road, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. in summer.
Fees: Seasonal fees are resident, $35; resident over age 60, free; non-resident (all ages), $125. Weekly fee is $50.
Rules: License holders will be given information on shellfishing, closures, tide chart and any other information they may need. The species most commonly sought are quahogs, mussels, eels, oysters, scallops, and soft shell clams (steamers).

Shellfish Department, 135 Meetinghouse Way Edgartown, MA, 02539 Phone: 508-627-7570

Shellfish Licenses are available in the Board of Selectmen’s Office during regular business hours. During the summer months they are sold at the front desk of Town Hall, 70 Main Street. Call ahead for hours to buy licenses at 508- 627-6100. Annual Shellfish licenses run from April 1 to March 31.
Fees: Annual cost for residents is $50, fee to residents age 60 and older. Non-resident annual licenses are $250. A weekly license is available for $50. This entitles the purchaser and their family to go out once in a week window and get a limit of shellfish. This license does not apply to scallops. An annual license is required to fish for scallops during the season.
Catch Limits: A family permit holder shall not take more than one-half bushel of shellfish during a week except for bay scallops. The Bay Scallop limit shall be no more than one (1) struck level 10 gallon plastic wash basket per week in season. Bay scalloping is not permitted for one-day license holders.