Rick has been serving the shellfish industry at Martha's Vineyard Shellfish Group for decades. It's why he is featured in Profiles in Blue in our BEP Implementation Plan. He shared with us his thoughts on the Blue Economy.
"Since 1976, I have been the Shellfish Biologist and Director of the Martha's Vineyard Shellfish Group, Inc., a nonprofit consortium of the shellfish departments of six towns on Martha's Vineyard. It has been personally rewarding to have played a supporting role in the development of the shellfish industry. In my tenure with the Shellfish Group, I have carried out a successful community-based resource development program for the commercially important shellfish species (quahogs, bay scallops, oysters and mussels) on Martha's Vineyard. Presently the hatchery operation produces over 40 million seed shellfish annually and, in 2016, Vineyard shellfish farmers were paid over $3.8 million for their aquaculture products. Shellfish aquaculture is the quintessential component of the Cape and Islands’ blue economy. Providing employment and enjoyment for residents and visitors alike, the region’s renewable shellfish resources ideally support both year-round and seasonal economies. In addition, the production of filter-feeding shellfish improves the region’s marine environments that are the ultimate source of the region’s wealth."