- Division of Marine Fisheries
On April 14, 2022 long-time DMF employee Richard M. Hardy (Mike) passed away after a year-long illness. Mike was instrumental at the Shellfish Purification Plant in Newburyport where he worked for the last 21 years. He was dependable, reserved, a good colleague, a hard worker with a steady demeanor, with never a harsh word for anyone and quiet until he got to know you.
Operations at the Shellfish Plant are unique in the agency where the schedule is dictated by the tides, depuration clam digger activity, and market demand. At “the Plant” coordinating schedules with co-workers is critical to maintain seven-day-a-week coverage. Mike would always prioritize those needs to keep the diggers digging and plant operations smooth. Preferring to keep busy and never dissuaded by hard work, he helped out his co-workers by coming in weekends and holidays, collecting samples for the lab, and maintaining Plant operating procedures to remain in compliance with state and federal regulations—always with a smile.
Mike’s background and contacts in the shellfish industry were very useful in understanding digger and dealer activity. He could relate market activity (increase prices/extended rainfall/new harvest areas etc.) to how it was impacting depuration harvesting and plant productivity; very helpful when managing the unique softshell clam contaminated fishery.
Talking sports was a favorite topic in the front office when Mike was around, particularly the Patriots. His game analysis was spot-on, you could learn a lot from listening to Mike break down Sunday’s game—and we did.
Our hearts go out to his family. Mike will be sorely missed by all his co-workers and friends at the Shellfish Plant and throughout DMF.