Press Releases

November 1, 1996
Professor's Scallop Research Yields New Finding, New Funding

Contact: Jane Finalborgo & Joe Dionisio
(516) 287-8313

Southampton Graduate Campus Professor Stephen Tettelbach, whose recent studies on brown tide have yielded new information about bay scallops, has received a 1996-97 grant of $5300 from the New York Sea Grant Institute to support continuation of his research.

Dr. Tettelbach, a Marine Science professor at Long Island University's Southampton Graduate Campus, will use the grant to undertake tissue analysis of bay scallop samples to shed further light on the effects of brown tide on these delicate shellfish.

Dr. Roxanna Smolowitz of the Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole, Mass., and Christopher Smith of Cornell Cooperative Extension in Riverhead will collaborate on the project.

Recent work by these three scientists demonstrated that bay scallops did, in fact, spawn during the 1995 brown tide that occurred in the Peconic Bays of Eastern Long Island.

During high concentrations of brown tide, scallops stop feeding and eventually starve to death. "The fact that scallops spawn during brown tide does not mean that brown tide is any less of a threat to bay scallops here on Long Island or elsewhere," said Dr. Tettelbach, who has studied local scallop populations for 10 years. "There is probably little chance that spawn generated during brown tide will result in new scallops."

Dr. Tettelbach's research, which was also supported by grants from the National Marine Fisheries Service and the Environmental Protection Agency, revealed interesting results about survival and growth rates of bay scallops exposed to brown tide.

During periods when brown tide disappears, "the species can rebound quickly," said Dr. Tettelbach, who was elected President of the National Shellfisheries Association in April. "However, if two or three consecutive years of brown tide occur, scallop populations may vanish completely from the area."


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