Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Monterey Bay Aquarium Puts a Hit Out on Chesapeake Bay Oysters

Amy-Jane Brand
WTOP, Consumer seafood guide advises people to avoid Chesapeake Bay oysters. But why?

The Chesapeake Bay oyster population has been flourishing over the last few years, but a California-based seafood guide disagrees. Seafood Watch, a well-known consumer guide about sustainable seafood, has released its latest draft and is telling people to avoid eating wild caught oysters that come from the Bay.

A look at the draft shows the bay as being overfished and poorly managed, adding “current abundance levels in the Chesapeake Bay overall are still low. As a result, Seafood Watch deems eastern oyster abundance in Virginia as a ‘high’ concern.”

WTOP has reached out to the organization behind the report for comment.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium is behind the guide, but declined a request for comment from the Bay Journal about the rating, saying the draft assessment may change, depending on public comment.

The findings have led to some criticism from the local industry. The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science told Bay Journal the draft applied an overly broad and uneven brush when rating the bay.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources also took issue with the findings, saying no one has contacted them from the aquarium about the bay’s condition, adding that the information is outdated and misinterpreted. The department stood behind the state’s oyster management, saying it’s been reviewed favorably by outside scientists.

In 2018, Seafood Watch rated oysters from Maryland and Virginia as a good choice for those looking for a sustainable option.

Actually, it would be better for Chesapeake Bay oysters if they were not fished as hard. If it were up to me, I would have a 5-10 year ban on fishing and restoring oysters in Chesapeake Bay (go ahead and grow all you want), and see if the oysters are capable of expanding their population in the Bay as it exists at present. If not, go ahead and plant some foreign oyster that can, like ariakensis. You'd probably have to provide income support to watermen to make up the difference, but even that would likely be cheaper that current public restoration efforts.

The Wombat came through with Late Night With Rule 5 Sunday: Double-Scoop Swimsuit Edition!  

1 comment:

  1. Yeh, and they did the same thing about maine lobsters. Crazy cali loonies!