The Marine Science Department has partnered with the Town of Marion to bring the beloved Tabor Oyster Farm back to Sippican Harbor.
At the beginning of July, Tabor received around 150,000 Oyster seeds, which were then the size of the lead tip of a pencil. The oysters are currently growing in upwellers near the Marion harbormaster’s office, and now have grown to the size of a dime.
Director of Student Affairs and Science Teacher Kellsie Ham says, “We're always looking for ways to increase recreational fishing in the town. After we grow them, we'll disperse them through the harbor.”
The oyster farm will be a significant addition to Tabor and Sippican Harbor. Oysters are filter organisms, meaning they improve water quality, keep the water clean, and in turn promote the growth of underwater grasses that allow aquatic species, such as fish and crabs, to live and thrive.
According to Kellsie, the oysters will be moved into floating bags and transported to the underwater farm on campus between August and September, around the time students will arrive back on campus for the upcoming school year. Kellsie is working with her husband Steve Ham, a local oyster farmer, Jay Cassista, Marine Science Director, and Tamar Cunha, Science Department Head, on how they can get students involved and how to incorporate the oyster farm into Tabor’s Marine Biology curriculum. The shellfish industry is fast-growing; and learning about oyster farms from seed to harvest is a great opportunity for students seeking a less traditional career after high school.
“I really enjoy working with shellfish, and I have for years,” says Steve. “I look forward to bringing the Oyster Farm back to Tabor.”
Once the oysters are ready for harvest, Tabor will work with the Town of Marion to make them available to residents. In addition to oysters, Tabor will also receive some quahogs for farming.