Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Oysters could rebound more quickly with limited fishing and improved habitat

Date:
June 13, 2013
Source:
University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
Summary:
A new study shows that combining improved oyster restoration methods with limits on fishing in the upper Chesapeake could bring the oyster population back to the Bay in a much shorter period of time. The study assessed a range of management and restoration options to see which ones would have the most likelihood of success.

A new study shows that combining improved oyster restoration methods with limits on fishing in the upper Chesapeake could bring the oyster population back to the Bay in a much shorter period of time. The study led by Michael Wilberg of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science's Chesapeake Biological Laboratory assessed a range of management and restoration options to see which ones would have the most likelihood success.

Related Articles


"This new model we developed suggests that oysters should be able to come back if we help them out by reducing fishing pressure and improving their habitat," said Wilberg.

Eastern oysters in the Chesapeake Bay have undergone a drastic decrease in abundance over the past century due to overfishing and disease. The population is currently estimated to be less than one percent of its historic high, making substantial restoration efforts necessary if the population is to recover.

The team's study shows that if oysters were allowed to reproduce naturally and fishing were halted, it would take between 50 to 100 years for oyster abundance to reach as high a level as could be supported by the Bay. If fishing were reduced to about half its current level, it would take as many as 200 to 500 years to see a healthy population restored to the Bay.

"The fishery as it has been practiced hasn't been sustainable, and our model helps explain why," said Wilberg. "Oysters just can't replace the shell that has been removed fast enough to keep up."

Oysters are called ecosystem engineers because they build habitat for themselves and other creatures. Oyster harvesting methods, such as dredging and tonging, chip away at the oyster reef and knock it down, spreading the shells over the bottom and making the remaining oysters prone to being covered by silt or moving them to a soft surface where oysters cannot grow.

Since reefs are the place where oysters are born and reproduce, fishing not only removes adults from the population, but also removes habitat essential to their survival.

"Oysters should be able to rebuild their reefs if we leave them alone," said Wilberg. "It's an experiment that hasn't been tried yet."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Michael J. Wilberg, John R. Wiedenmann, and Jason M. Robinson. Sustainable exploitation and management of autogenic ecosystem engineers: application to oysters in Chesapeake Bay. Ecological Applications, 23(4), 2013, pp. 766%u2013776

Cite This Page:

University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. "Oysters could rebound more quickly with limited fishing and improved habitat." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 June 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130613124314.htm>.
University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. (2013, June 13). Oysters could rebound more quickly with limited fishing and improved habitat. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130613124314.htm
University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. "Oysters could rebound more quickly with limited fishing and improved habitat." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130613124314.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) Millions of monarch butterflies begin to descend onto Mexico as part of their annual migration south. Rough Cut (no reporter narration) Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) The new year is coming and nothing will energize you more for 2015 than protein-filled foods. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) gives his favorite high protein foods that will help you build muscle, lose fat and have endless energy. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Newsy (Dec. 19, 2014) A new study suggests a certain type of bird was able to sense a tornado outbreak that moved through the U.S. a day before it hit. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins