Shellfisher Preserve is the site of the former Shelter Island Oyster Company shellfish farming facility, owned by John & Anna Plock and John Plock, Jr., located in Southold, New York. The Trust began working with the Plock family in 1992 to create a limited development plan that ultimately protected 14 of the property's 22 acres, including the unique mariculture facilities of the Shelter Island Oyster Company. In January 1996, the Plock family donated those 14 acres and their unique facilities to the Peconic Land Trust. Since acquisition of the property, the Trust has been working with the Cornell Cooperative Extension Marine Program to manage the facility. Recently, the Trust and its partners began work to restore the old aquaculture buildings to their original function. Much of this work has been funded through grants from the NationalGrid (formerly KeySpan) Foundation and the United States Department of Agriculture. The aquaculture facilities at Shellfisher Preserve are unique and have a historical significance to the shellfish aquaculture industry due to their innovative design.
The Trust's goal for Shellfisher Preserve is to manage the site and its facilities for shellfish aquaculture research and education, and for small-scale aquaculture companies to have access to the waterfront.Shellfisher Preserve is currently leased to a cooperative of baymen & women, The Noank Aquaculture Cooperative, overseen by Karen Rivara, The Southold Branch of the Noank Aquaculture Co-Op began operating out of the Peconic Land Trust's Shellfisher Preserve in 2003. The members grow oysters, hard clams and bay scallops in the pristine waters of the Peconic Bay Estuary. Click here to learn more.
Shellfisher on Film Want to see more about the conservation of the Shellfisher Preserve and the current aquaculture program now in operation at the site.
Alec Hirschfeld's documentary -- Out Here in the Fields -- presents three stories of conservation, including a look at the protection of Shellfisher Preserve. The portion of the documentary on the Shellfisher Preserve is available for viewing above! Call us at 631.283.3195 for more information or to purchase the DVD. The conservation of Quail Hill Farm in Amagansett and the Babinski farm fields in Wainscott are also profiled in Out Here in the Fields.
Alternatively, the website HungryNation.tv series Working Class Foodies has an episode featuring Karen Rivara of the Noank Aquaculture Cooperative (the current lessee of the facility -- for more on the restoration and the work Noank is doing at the site, click here). Karen gives host Rebecca Lando a tour and tasting of the oysters at Shellfisher. A wonderful peek into the operation and the preserve.