oysters

cbf.org

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - About 600 concrete balls will be placed into the Lafayette River this summer to help restore the oyster population.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation said in statement that it used a crane last week to lower 100 of the balls into the water in Norfolk.

The Lafayette is a tributary of the Elizabeth River, which flows into the Chesapeake Bay. The nearly 5-acre (2-hectare) reef is being constructed at the mouth of the Lafayette.

Don Rush

Plans by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources would give watermen more room to harvest oysters in the Chesapeake Bay.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports the agency has plans to reduce the sanctuary acreage by 11 percent or around 1-thousand acres.

For the Lower Shore around 100 acres would be opened up in the Tangier Sound while the 17-thousand sanctuary acres on the Nanticoke River would be expanded by over 800 acres.

The paper reports that the Manokin and Nanticoke rivers could be two of eight potential sites for oyster reef restoration.   

Don Rush

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware's environmental secretary has halted commercial and recreational harvesting of shellfish in the Delaware Bay after a sewage spill in Kent County.

Officials say the spill from a sewage pump station in Dover discharged hundreds of thousands of gallons of untreated wastewater into the St. Jones River, which empties into the bay.

The harvest closure for oysters, clams and mussels will be in effect for 21 days after the county's wastewater discharge has been halted.

Don Rush

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Gov. Terry McAuliffe is set to travel to Canada this week to promote Virginia business with a top importer.

McAuliffe's office said Monday the governor will head a four-day marketing tour starting Tuesday.

The governor will visit Toronto and Montreal during the trade mission.

He will also go to Boston.

Canada is a major trading partner with Virginia, importing more than $3.3 billion in manufactured goods in 2015.

McAuliffe said he plans to promote Virginia oysters, wine, craft beer and travel opportunities during the trip.

creative commons

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) - Virginia shellfish farmers are leading the nation in hard clam sales.

The Virginian-Pilot reports that data from the College of William & Mary's Virginia Institute of Marine Science shows that shellfish farmers sold about $32.3 million worth of aquacultured clams in 2015.

Virginia also came out on top in oyster sales among East Coast states. The report shows that the state's shellfish farmers sold $16 million in oysters last year.

Don Rush

The Maryland state senate has approved a measure that would require the University of Maryland to set harvesting levels for the oysters in the Chesapeake Bay.

The aim is to create a sustainable stock of oysters for the future.  

The measure’s supporters say that the state’s oyster population is being over harvested.

But the seafood industry says the new measures would be too costly and are unnecessary.

The legislation is now pending in the House of Delegates.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Fans of the Chesapeake Bay now have an online tool to track the progress of the estuary's restoration.

Called ChesapeakeProgress, the website gives visitors an overview of the multi-state effort to clean up the bay after decades of neglect. The site shows goals and outcomes of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement involving six states and Washington, D.C.

The agreement is aimed at limiting urban and rural pollution from flowing into the bay. The bay's water has become so polluted, vast areas are called "dead zones" because they are devoid of life.

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The blue crab could be coming back in Delaware.

The harvest is expected to bring in around 4 million pounds.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that’s 1 million pounds over last year’s projection.

The latest projection says that it saw the highest index of juvenile blue crabs the state has seen since the mid-2-thousands.

The News Journal reports that previous winters were extremely cold producing higher mortality rates.

Meanwhile, when it comes to oysters the projections spell trouble.

The quota in 2016 has been set just over 10-thousand.

Farming the Oyster

Nov 25, 2015
Don Rush

With the depletion of the oyster in the Chesapeake Bay a new industry has grown up in the region. It's called aquaculture where oysters are raised to produce this iconic creature. WYPR's Joel McCord took a look at the growth of this industry in the region.

CBF Website

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A new report says Chesapeake Bay water quality has improved, but there's been a decline in fisheries.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation released its biennial State of the Bay report Monday. It gave the nation's largest estuary a D-plus grade overall. That's unchanged from 2012.

The report cites improvements in water clarity, oysters and underwater grasses. But declines were seen in scores for blue crabs and rockfish.

CBF President William Baker took special aim at the Eastern Shore where phosphorus levels have actually gone up in some areas.

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The tongers were out yesterday to begin the oyster season.

But it has apparently gotten off to a slow start.

At Harrison’s Oyster Company on Tilghman Island last year the buckets were full.

This year Buddy Harrison told WBOC they had only nine that were full.

He said he had expected there would be at least a hundred by the afternoon.

But he told the television station that it could take a couple of days for things to settle down as watermen scramble to find out where the good oyster beds.

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Phillips Seafood held a party yesterday for its 100th birthday at its 20th street restaurant in Ocean City to honor the establishment of the A. E. Phillips seafood packing plant in 1914.

CEO Steve Phillips recalled his maternal grandfather was a waterman on Hooper's Island, who would take him crabbing and oystering when he was a boy.

The 67-year-old Phillips told the celebration that the Phillips family owes its success to Maryland watermen and the Chesapeake Bay.

Chesapeake Bay Foundation

CAMBRIDGE, Md. (AP) - An artificial oyster reef made up of 300 concrete balls has been completed in the Choptank River.

The reef was finished Saturday in the Bill Burton Fishing Pier adjacent to the Fredrick C. Malkus Bridge in Cambridge.    

The two foot-tall igloo-like reef balls were set with baby oysters, or spat, by submerging them in large tanks of Chesapeake Bay water.   

The reef balls were deployed throughout the summer.                                                                                                           

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - With Virginia oyster stocks on the rise, so is poaching and that has caught the attention of regulators.

The public oyster season opened Tuesday and the Virginia Marine Police are taking aim at what they call an epidemic of poaching. Last month, for instance, the Virginia Marine Resources Commission revoked the fishing licenses of five commercial oyster harvesters who pleaded guilty to poaching by overharvesting.

Marine Police will seek out oyster poachers by air, land and sea. The force has dedicated officers to seek out offenders as a top priority.

cbf.org

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - The Chesapeake Bay Foundation has lowered 25 concrete oyster reef balls into the Lafayette River in Norfolk.

Oyster harvesting has been banned on the Lafayette since the 1920s because of contamination from industries and storm water runoff. The work Tuesday is part of an initiative to restore the Lafayette to health.

Reef balls are dome-shaped concrete structures that provide a surface on which swimming oyster larvae can attach. Balls are seeded with live baby oysters called "spat." They also provide the benefit of shoreline stabilization.

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Crabbing season could be getting off to a slow start this year.

Watermen say they generally see crabs by March…as the oyster season wraps up.

But watermen say they have not.

In Cambridge Waterman Jason Mills told WBOC that last year had been a good season…but that he and others were concerned about what this year might bring.

If the number of crabs does not pick up customers are expected to pay top dollar for the Eastern Shore delicacy. 

 

 

        ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland's Department of Natural Resources

says oysters are surviving at the highest rate since 1985.

     The department says results of its fall oyster survey show 92

percent of oysters were found alive in samples taken baywide. The

two-month survey sampled 263 oyster bars throughout the bay.

     While heavy rains last year caused high mortality in some areas,

the department says lower salt levels throughout the bay helped cut

diseases that have devastated oyster populations. DNR says the high