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Study: Oysters "Functionally Extinct"

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Do you love oysters? Looks like you might have two choices:

1) Eat all you can now before they disappear for good.

2) Don't eat them at all -- for a while, at least -- until the population rebounds.

A new study from the Nature Conservatory and the University of California has found that oysters are "functionally extinct" in many areas.

The Daily Mail reports on the study:
Their research, published in the journal BioScience, said: "Oyster reefs are at less than 10 per cent of their prior abundance in most bays and ecoregions.

"They are functionally extinct -- in that they lack any significant ecosystem role and remain at less than 1 per cent of prior abundances in many bays and ecoregions -- particularly in North America, Australia and Europe."
The story first came to me via Eater, which classifies this tidbit from the article as "good news":
Some 75 percent of the remaining wild oysters in the world can be found at five locations in North America.
In fact, according to the New York Times report on the same study, the news isn't good:

But in only one of these regions -- the Gulf of Mexico -- were oyster populations deemed relatively healthy.
Something to keep in mind the next you belly up to your favorite oyster bar.

My Voice Nation Help
4 comments
Julie
Julie

not funny rft.

yahoo-JTWEQCYVVFC2TXDOR22FHC22QQ
yahoo-JTWEQCYVVFC2TXDOR22FHC22QQ

Then how can they be so cheap...? The Parks & Wildlife Department, and the US Dept. of Interior should be working with farming operations to develop larvae pools so they can protect then restock areas one at a time...

IEatOysters
IEatOysters

Bull hockey! You can eat all you like. 99% of oysters are farmed. Very few are taken from "the wild" and most of the ones that are taken from the wild are reseeded. There are millions of acres of oyster habitat on the east coast where harvesting is prohibited and the oyster populations are strong. This study has to be the result of studying just the problem spots.

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