Former Town of Falmouth Fisheries technician and self-employed fisherman Matt Weeks will offer a historical look at shell-fishing in Falmouth back to the 1770s. While working for the town, Matt oversaw the creation of oyster rafts in Little Pond among other duties. As a self-employed shell-fisherman, with an oyster grant just outside Waquoit Bay, he works that grant and also participates in wild harvest.
Matt’s interests led him to research the history of shell-fishing using materials held by the Falmouth Historical Society Archives and the Falmouth Public Library. He will touch on past management of the resources, showing images of the historical records and ledgers, including early concerns about Oyster Pond’s oysters starting in in 1773, the first oyster grants awarded in 1852, and seeding local ponds. He will include details on aquaculture and natural resources and their changes through time, and will also share his findings on the first scallop permits in 1898 and concerns in the 1920s about fish weirs, seines, and a herring house.
Museum Director Jennifer Gaines says “Matt proves how important and vital a study of the historical documents can be, enlightening us about our lives and town today.” She adds “This is great; it is as if we all are looking right at those documents; it’s fascinating!” For more information, call the Museum at 508-548-7270 or visit www.woodsholemuseum.org.