After several weeks of growth, juvenile shellfish must leave the hatchery’s controlled environment and continuous supply of life-sustaining algae. Their next home is one of our 3 nurseries where they acclimate to pure seawater and its natural nutrients. They grow here until sold as seed or are field planted on shellfish grants for growout to market size.
Three shellfish nurseries strategically located around Cape Cod offer A.R.C. a variety of growing conditions and the ability to maximize production. Secondarily, having 3 nursery options allows us to keep growing and shipping if one area is closed due to environmental conditions.
On the south side of Cape Cod, Harwich waters are warmed by the Gulf Stream traveling north up the East Coast. Just inside the breakwater on the Herring River, A.R.C.’s Harwich nursery takes advantage of tidal exchanges that draw saline waters from Nantucket Sound and mix it with the nutrient-rich headwaters of Bell’s Neck 3 miles inland.
Hatchery, Nursery and Wholesale Distribution
Flowing in from the colder waters of Cape Cod Bay, and situated just behind Chapin Memorial Beach, Chase Garden Creek’s waters have been sustaining A.R.C.’s hatchery, nursery and storage facility for over 40 years. Here we grow our own strains of algae, spawn 5 species and subspecies of shellfish, mature them to various ‘seed’ sizes and ship market-sized product around the country.
Located on the ‘elbow’ of Cape Cod, Chatham has been a shellfishing haven for hundreds of years. The cold Atlantic waters, patrolled by our growing population of great white sharks, meet the warm waters of Nantucket Sound here on the Cape’s south side making for nutrient rich waters perfect for growing juvenile shellfish into field-plant sized.