WAMU 88.5 : News

Record Number Of Baby Oysters Placed In Bay

Play associated audio
A bag of 1,000 baby oysters, or spat, is put in a mesh bag before being placed in one of seven oyster floats.
Norfolk District, U. S. Army Corps of Engineers: http://www.flickr.com/photos/armyengineersnorfolk/6286169279/
A bag of 1,000 baby oysters, or spat, is put in a mesh bag before being placed in one of seven oyster floats.

This year, 880 million baby oysters came out of the University of Maryland's Horn Point Lab. The bi-valves were raised in giant two-story vats and fed by computer-controlled algae farms.

Around 500 million of the young oysters, called spat, were given to oyster sanctuaries. Another 200 million spat were used to train watermen, who previously caught wild oysters, to grow their own using aquaculture.

It's a tough life for an oyster these days. "About half the oysters we put out, on average, die after the first year," says Michael Roman, director of the Horn Point Lab.

"They're covered by sediment, they're eaten by predators, and they die of these two prolific diseases we have," he says.

The blights, introduced into Chesapeake Bay from abroad and pollution, have kept them from coming back after 200 years of overharvesting.

So even though hundreds of millions of baby oysters are being put back into the bay, the species is still at a fraction of its historical levels.


Latest LGBT Films Move Beyond 'Coming Out' Narrative

There are a large number of LGBT films in theaters this fall. NPR explores what that says about Hollywood and society in general.

Remembering Paul Prudhomme, The Louisiana Chef Who 'Made Magic'

The New Orleans chef changed the way the world saw Louisiana cooking. He has died at the age of 75.
WAMU 88.5

The Politics Hour - October 9, 2015

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe joins Kojo and Tom Sherwood in the studio.


Beyond The 'Like' Button: Facebook Comes To Our Emotional Rescue

Facebook reveals new emojis it's testing to expand the iconic "Like" button. All Tech Considered welcomes a new host, who tries to explain her vision for the blog using Facebook's seven "Reactions."

Leave a Comment

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