23 Wellfleet shellfishermen get relief funds

Shellfish Promotion and Tasting (SPAT), which established the Shellfisherman Relief Fund in the wake of this fall’s month-long closure of the town’s shellfish beds, distributed $1,000 relief checks this week to 23 commercial fishermen who submitted completed applications by the Dec. 15 deadline. SPAT is the nonprofit that sponsors the annual OysterFest. A small subcommittee of the SPAT board reviewed the applications on Friday to verify that they included documentation of lost income and of the proposed use of funds, Executive Director Michele Insley told the Banner on Monday. The reviewers decided that each approved applicant would get the same amount of money. The shellfish beds were closed because of a norovirus outbreak from Oct. 13 – two days before OysterFest – until Nov. 14, and shellfish harvested from Sept. 26 on were recalled. As a result, there were virtually no oysters at this year’s OysterFest, and individual fishermen lost $10,000 or more in income on what is normally their most lucrative weekend of the year. Read the story here 18:47