buz23

Slipper Shell Explosion??

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Posted (edited)

So here I am on the Vineyard the week after the derby and I am astounded by the numbers of slipper shells up on the beaches.  I only started noticing these creatures a few years ago on Lobsterville beach at low tide.  Crepidula Fornicata (I think Crepidula means Cluster, and you know what Fornicata means).  I previously found them in clusters, but now there are empty single shells everywhere.  I first thought they may have been casualties of the recent storms, but I keep seeing more and more along the high tide line.  The picture shows  a graveyard in the rocks east of Menemsha Beach.

 

What's going on.  Even the surf clam shells that wash ashore have slipper shells on them.  I read somewhere (can't remember where) that there was a big increase in their numbers and they were competing with more desireable shellfish.  Maybe we need to start cooking them.

 
 

 

slippershells.jpg

Edited by buz23

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24 mins ago, buz23 said:

So here I am on the Vineyard the week after the derby and I am astounded by the numbers of slipper shells up on the beaches.  I only started noticing these creatures a few years ago on Lobsterville beach at low tide.  Crepidula Fornicata (I think Crepidula means Cluster, and you know what Fornicata means).  I previously found them in clusters, but now there are empty single shells everywhere.  I first thought they may have been casualties of the recent storms, but I keep seeing more and more along the high tide line.  The picture shows  a graveyard in the rocks east of Menemsha Beach.

 

What's going on.  Even the surf clam shells that wash ashore have slipper shells on them.  I read somewhere (can't remember where) that there was a big increase in their numbers and they were competing with more desireable shellfish.  Maybe we need to start cooking them.

 
 

 

slippershells.jpg

In some cases they attach themselves to other shell fish and feed off them. It would interesting to hear how long that process takes.

Perhaps this may be a result of a low Oxygen levels like we recently had in Cape Cod Bay that Killed a lot of lobsters and other small fish and may be the problem why the fishing was not that great in the bay untill recently after these last storm with fish

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Posted (edited)

On some MA south coast beaches, you can find these shells piled up to a foot or more in depth.  Here's a photo from the Buzzards Bay Coalition web site:

 

beachcombing-slipper-shell-800x450.jpg

Edited by fishinbill

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6 mins ago, fishinbill said:

On some MA south coast beaches, you can find these shells piled up to a foot or more in depth.

Especially after 90 mph winds from the SE

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I just saw  (tue. am) a pickup truck load of them on the beach in weekapaug.....many of them were still clinging to each other and alive

some were like a corkscrew with the first one clinging to a rock about 2 inches in diameter .... weather related ?

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I found one source which says they don't like very cold water (<5 C).  So maybe the last few warmer winters has allowed them to take off.

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1 hour ago, mikez2 said:

How are they harvested for market?

With hand rakes or modified bay scallop drags.....

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2 mins ago, robc22 said:

With hand rakes or modified bay scallop drags.....

Are they eaten locally, or to satisfy a foreign market?

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10 mins ago, bob_G said:

Are they eaten locally, or to satisfy a foreign market?

Not sure bud....I will be in NB 2morrow so i will find out what they do with the darn things......

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Makes me tempted to try them. They have always been abundant in RI but like the Cape apparently, the storms really piled them up this year.

I was tempted to a bucket of shells for crafts. 

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