Shellfishing history featured in videos on wampum, early industry

Image from video about master wampum artist Allen Hazard.Shellfish are part of the maritime heritage of this state and region. Oysters, clams, mussels and scallops are ecologically important, contribute to our food security, and are part of our history and present-day culture. The Connecticut Aquaculture Video Series features two videos to spark your interest in learning more.

  • The first video, produced by Insider TV, is How a Native American Artisan Keeps the 4,500-Year-Old Practice of Wampum Alive. The video was shown at the  statewide Gathering of Shellfish Commissions on Feb. 3. Keynote speaker Michael Thomas, Tribal Knowledge Keeper for the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation spoke about the importance of shellfish to the tribal community, and especially their youth.
  • The second video captures part of Connecticut’s early commercial shellfishing history: Focus on Early Processing and Shipping. It features Don Bell, a former environmental analyst with the State Bureau of Aquaculture who is now the health director for Copps Island Oyster Company, and curator of a local oyster museum

Historical photo of oyster shuckers from shellfish history videoVisit our YouTube Playlist which contains a variety of videos showcasing the state’s aquaculture industry. Soon, we’ll be releasing some great video on freshwater and marine ornamental aquaculture.

This project is Funded by National Sea Grant, Connecticut Sea Grant, UConn Extension, and the UConn College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources. We express our sincerest gratitude to the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, the Narragansett Tribe, local farmers, fishers, educators, scientists and others for sharing their wisdom, experiences and knowledge with us.