Oysterer, Clammer, Aquaculturalist Dale Parsons to Speak at Giffordtown Schoolhouse Museum

Apr 17, 2019
Photo by: file photo Pat Johnson Dale Parsons at his aquaculture center on Great Bay.

Dale Stewart Parsons is a fifth-generation bayman and seafood purveyor in Tuckerton. His family has been making their living from the bounty of the bay since 1909.

His father, also Dale Parsons, ran Parsons Seafood in Tuckerton with his mother, Wanda, acting as bookkeeper, after his father, Jack, retired. His son also worked in the bay and the clam house. Beginning in the 1990s, Dale Stewart Parsons began teaching himself aquaculture – the science of growing seafood in controlled environments. This was necessary as the bay was losing its ability to produce enough “wild” clams to meet demand. Changes in salinity and an increase in stormwater runoff from development in the area also led to an increase in algae that suffocated the wild stocks.

Even after Superstorm Sandy knocked out his large aquaculture center in Tuckerton Beach, Parsons started a new aquaculture business at the end of Radio Road in Great Bay Marina. He is also a major part of the Barnegat Bay Partnership’s Shellfish Working Group, which is rebuilding an oyster reef in Little Egg Bay, and he and his family are featured in “The Oyster Farmers” movie, produced locally.

On Saturday, April 27, at 2 p.m., Parsons will give a talk on his family’s history in the oyster and clam business and the hopes for the future of Barnegat and Great bays at the Giffordtown Schoolhouse Museum as part of the Tuckerton Historical Society’s monthly programs.

There is no fee or registration – it’s first-come, first-seated at the museum, located at the corner of Wisteria Lane and Leitz Boulevard in Little Egg Harbor. —P.J.

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