You can’t have commercial fisheries in Chesapeake Bay, and eat your oysters too. That’s the thesis of Angus Phillip’s excellent article in the Washington Post on how Chesapeake’s Oyster Population Has Reached Rock Bottom.
[Phillips] asked about the Chesapeake Bay Agreement of 2000, which set a goal of increasing the oyster population in the bay tenfold over a baseline of 1994 by the year 2010. How was that going?
Seven years into the effort, “There’s less oysters in the bay than we had then, according to the Department of Natural Resource’s own biomass data,” Baynard said. “We’re going backwards. We couldn’t reach that goal now if it rained oysters from the sky!”
Three hundred years ago, oysters were so abundant they made navigating the Bay difficult. One hundred years ago oysters were piled millions high. Today, oysters are overfished. Just another shifting baseline…