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Maryland Sees Increase In Oyster Population

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Maryland's oyster population and reproduction rates are up again, according to the state's Department of Natural Resources.

Fall oyster survey results in Maryland show increases for the second straight year. The survey also found that Dermo and MSX, the two diseases that have decimated Maryland oysters, remained far below long-term averages.

DNR Sec. John Griffin credited the increase in part to survival among the large number of oysters hatched in 2010. Griffin says the Bay's oyster population remains at less than 1 percent of historic levels, but the increase is encouraging because oysters are filter feeders that help improve water quality.

The survey also found a 93 percent survival rate in samples. DNR officials say oysters may be becoming more resistant to diseases, thanks, in part, to the establishment of oyster sanctuaries.

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