Thursday, March 5, 2009

Stewing oyster debate pits American vs. Asian

"Sometime in the next few days, three men will make a decision that comes awfully close to playing God with the Chesapeake Bay."

That's Washington Post writer David A. Fahrenthold's dramatic lead to his February 15 story on controversial plans to introduce a non-native species of oyster to the Chesapeake Bay and other locations where native oysters have suffered from decades of pollution and disease.

Photo by James M. Thresher/Washington Post

Ironically, at a time when America's flagging economy is being partially stabilized by China's massive purchases of our national debt, many American watermen and looking to the Asian Oyster as the possible savior of their historic industry.

Environmentalists generally oppose the idea saying the new species may drive out native oysters. (Echos, again of larger national debates)

Below are three recent that explore the oyster controversy in Delaware, Maryland and Virginia:
Oysters may yet thrive in Delaware Bay (Wilmington News Journal)
Another skirmish over Asian oysters (Baltimore Sun)
Seafood group seeks OK to grow Asian oysters (The Virginian-Pilot)

In New Jersey, numerous individuals and groups have been struggling to restore historic oyster beds in coastal rivers and bays.

We don't know whether the introduction of Asian oysters has been considered, but we suspect that some of our readers are on top of the subject.

Are you one of them? Please consider sharing what you know. If you don't see a comment block below, click on the tiny "comment" line and one will appear.

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