Harvesting the Bay

Fathers, Sons and the Last of the Wild Shellfishermen


Book Description

“If we mean to change our ways, how will we do it? How will we make our food and our system of food production healthy, sustainable, and secure? How will we make them, in a word, sane? Who will do this work?”
Ray Huling knows the hard realities of shellfishing. His father and grandfathers were shellfishermen on Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay, laborers in an age-old trade. Because he grew up surrounded by quahaugers, the industry is in his blood and the drive to keep it sustainable is what makes up his family history.
In Harvesting the Bay, Huling answers these pressing questions and delivers a moving portrait of the men and women who work the waters of the Atlantic Coast in the harsh environment of the shellfishing industry. Huling argues that any successful sustainable food enterprise will likely resemble shellfishing in Rhode Island, an industry that has existed sustainably for over 150 years, with its complex system of governance, its fierce and obsessive workforce, and its conflicts within communities and between generations. This thought-provoking book sets the complexities of sustainable food production against a heartwarming story of one family’s enduring years of work on the seas.

About Huling, Ray

Ray Huling, a twelfth-generation Rhode Islander, comes from a long line of quahaugers. Drawing on his own history with shellfishing, he has written extensively about marine affairs for the town of East Greenwich, Rhode Island. Huling earned a graduate degree from New York University’s School of Journalism and was a Fellow in the Reynolds Program in Social Entrepreneurship. .