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 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.
All Maryland produce growers have the shared goal of growing safe food for consumers. Despite growers’ best efforts, however, foodborne illness outbreaks happen. When an outbreak occurs and can be traced to the source, it is usually followed by a recall of the product. A recall can result in substantial financial damage to the grower and have ripple effects throughout the industry. Having a recall plan in place lessens the confusion, delay, and financial repercussions which can stem from a recall.