WAMU 88.5 : News

Virginia Oyster Population Rebounds, Still Far Off Highs

Play associated audio
Oyster populations in Virginia's portion of the Chesapeake Bay have rebounded a bit.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/overton_cat/2189811638/
Oyster populations in Virginia's portion of the Chesapeake Bay have rebounded a bit.

In the past one hundred years, disease and overharvesting have decimated the native oyster population. Estimates place it at .3 percent of it's population just one hundred and fifty years ago. Disease, likely introduced from abroad by ships, and overharvesting have been the main issues. In Virginia's portion of the Chesapeake Bay at least, things appear to be turning around.

"The oyster harvest has increased tenfold over the last decade," says John Bull is with the Virginia Marine Resources Commission. "The diseases are still there. What has changed is that we have latched on a new series of management strategies"

Virginia has several dozen oyster sanctuaries that protect oysters permanently, and a rotational harvest plan so public oyster beds can only be harvested every few years.

"They get to repopulate before they're open for harvest again," explains Bull.

Oyster farming has increased the supply of oysters too. The population is still nowhere near the levels of even the 1960s, but some research shows the bivalves are gradually developing a certain amount of disease resistance.

WAMU 88.5

Taking Great Photos On Vacation Or "Staycation"

Professional photographers give us the latest on cameras, smart phones and shooting tips for great vacation photos this summer -- and every day.

NPR

For Greece's Farmers, Growing Pressure To Be More Competitive

Greece grows plenty of good agricultural products, but has trouble competing internationally. Many in Greece say it's time for the farm sector to modernize.
WAMU 88.5

Obama's Trip to Africa & Foreign Aid

By visiting Africa this month, President Obama is drawing attention to one of the diplomatic tools that most directly shapes America's relationships with other countries: foreign aid and assistance. But now all policy makers at home feel the United States is pursuing the soundest strategy when it comes to providing aid abroad. We explore the issue with the official in charge of the Africa portfolio for the United States Agency for International Development.

WAMU 88.5

Taking Great Photos On Vacation Or "Staycation"

Professional photographers give us the latest on cameras, smart phones and shooting tips for great vacation photos this summer -- and every day.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.