An oyster industry worker uses a perforated dipper and blow tank to clean the grit and sand
off some Chesapeake Bay oysters in preparation for packing.
ANNAPOLIS MARITIME MUSEUM, WWW.AMARITIME.ORG
he management of the Chesapeake Bay’s native oyster population is critical
in our fight to improve water quality in the region. Adult oyster are like
mini water treatment plants. Each can filter up to 50 gallons per day, and
their reefs provide important habitat to many other Bay species.
Also important is the oyster’s economic value. Although oyster harvests have
plumeted since their high in the late 1800s, the industry remained a major component of the region’s economy into the 1980s. NOAA estimates that economic
losses over the last few decades top four billion dollars.
Although recent efforts are yeilding results, CBF expects that marked recovery will
require a combination of sanctuary-based restoration, public fisheries management, and increased aquaculture. Learn more at cbf.org/oysters.