Environmental Commitment

Shoemaker Littlenecks operates in an environmentally-friendly manner as evidenced by the following business practices:

  • Very low emission 4-stroke boat engine; reduces dependence on foreign oil
  • High miles-per-gallon delivery van with solar assisted refrigeration
    Delivery Van
  • Use of recycled mesh bags for product distribution. Reduces dependence on fiber.
  • Just in time delivery ensures fresh product for customers, improves shelf life, and reduces food waste.
  • Shellfish beds provide positive environmental impacts. They form habitats for other bottom dwelling organisms, and provide protection from predators. Molluscan shellfish also filter free-floating algae and particulate matter out of the water. This helps maintain good water quality, which, in turn, helps the survival of other marine and aquatic organisms.

Shellfish Aquaculture is good for the environment:

  • Filter-feeding shellfish improve water quality. A single oyster can clear over 15 gallons a day, retaining particles as small as 2 microns. A small oyster farm in Narragansett, RI clears 30 to 100 million gallons each day. This reduces turbidity, improves light penetration, and reduces anoxia (low oxygen). Shellfish improve water quality as they feed by filtering microscopic particles from the water. This removes problematic sediments and phytoplankton and their associated nutrients. Some of the nitrogen is incorporated into protein and the rest is deposited on the bottom, where it can be consumed by worms and other organisms.
  • Shellfish remove nitrogen. As both water clarity and light penetration are improved, the eelgrass is able to recover in waters that have not supported seagrasses for decades. Clearly shellfish aquaculture should be an element of any eelgrass restoration project.
    • Shellfish remove microscopic plants as they feed.
    • Nitrogen contained in shellfish tissues is removed when animals are harvested.
    • Shellfish feeding stimulates denitrification.
    • Improved light penetration and reduced nitrogen help eelgrass recover.
  • Shellfish farming provides habitat for fish and improves species diversity. Cultured shellfish have received a thumbs up from environmental groups such as Environmental Defense, the Chef's Collaborative's Seafood Solutions, and others. These groups work to steer consumers towards sustainably harvested seafoods. Oysters are a keystone species, meaning they control the environment in which they live by cleaning the water, while the spaces between their shells provide habitat for juvenile fish, crabs, and the organisms on which they feed. Recent studies reveal that shellfish aquaculture can improve species abundance and diversity. Shells and aquaculture structures provide habitat for juvenile fish, crabs and other organisms.
  • Shellfish aquaculture is sustainable and good for the environment. Shellfish filter microscopic plant cells from the water column. Shellfish feed low on the food chain. No fertilizers, feeds, herbicides, drugs, chemicals, or antibiotics are used. Shellfish aquaculture has proven to be sustainable because it does not damage the environment or jeopardize future productivity. Annual harvests are made possible by replanting hatchery-reared seed.