Overview of Maryland’s oyster aquaculture industry as of 2020, including context, cumulative harvest data, monthly harvest data, lease totals, and leased acreage, with historic data provided to indicate change over time. Authors: Shannon Hood, Jim LaChance, Cathy Liu, Fredrika Moser, Matthew Parker, and Donald Webster; Title: Maryland Aquaculture Industry in 2020 at a Glance (EBR-62).
There has been much concern regarding the precipitous decline in Mid-Atlantic oyster production, with various groups attempting to place blame and espouse causes. However, it is instructive to veer away from traditional arguments to compare oysters with traditional agricultural crops for a different view of the problem and a vision for potential solutions. Comparing the production of oysters with other crops allows us to examine how those have been managed over time to increase production. The United States today is considered a world leader in food production. Taking lessons from that development and applying them to oysters could help guide the restoration of the industry that once flourished. Authors: Donald Webster and Donald Meritt; Title: Considerations for Shell Use in Oyster Rehabilitation Assessing the Effectiveness of Multiple Options (FS-1140)
The Chesapeake Bay oyster resource and fishery have shown wide temporal population fluctuations generating controversy regarding restoration methods. Disagreements stem from a lack of accurate and defensible data upon which to base decisions. Many commercial oyster harvesters favor dredging using metal scrapes towed by powered harvest vessels as a beneficial practice. Harvesters state that expanding this type of dredging throughout the Bay would lead to increased biomass and public harvest. Scientific and environmental communities dispute this claim, pointing to differences between bottom renovation and recruitment. This has created problems for managers who must consider multiple factors in regulating fisheries. To understand the effect of dredging on populations, we analyzed data from scientific studies to predict the likely outcome of these activities. This paper evaluates the cost-effectiveness and effects on production of restoration options. We compare power dredging and natural recruitment to rebuild biomass to contemporary aquaculture techniques. Authors: Donald Webster and Donald Meritt; Title: Predicting Oyster Production: A Comparison of Natural Recruitment and Aquaculture (EB-449)