Rhode Island Shellfish Management Plan in the works - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Rhode Island Shellfish Management Plan in the works

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By Mike LaCrosse

mlacrosse@abc6.com

An effort is underway to make Rhode Island's $3 million shellfish industry bigger and stronger. 

A Shellfish Management Plan is in the works.  It's a collaboration between The Coastal Resources Center, URI and the State Dept. of Environmental Management. 

"One thing, this is a resource the state manages.  We have an opportunity to make a difference.  I don't think we were doing enough to celebrate, promote and get people involved," said Janet Coit, Dir. Dept. of Environmental Management. 

The plan will look at many things including: maintaining shellfish habitats, create clearer communication with regulators, increase the number of shellfisherman and boost tourism. 

"We wanna see, get people out there introduce them to their own bay have an experience with their kids," said Coit. 

Monday, Governor Lincoln Chaffee got to experience clamming thanks to quahog shellfisherman Jody King.  King took the governor and other state officials out on his boat.

"Best job in the world. I have a picture window that no one in the world has and it changes every single day," said King. 

He supports the plan and hopes it helps sustain the industry. 

The plan is still in the works and will take up to a year to complete.

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