Virginia Institute of Marine Science
Journal Of Shellfish Research
Oyster reef restoration, protection, and construction are important to meeting harvest, water quality, and fish habitat goals. However, the strategies needed to achieve harvest and conservation goals have often been considered to be at odds. We argue that these goals are. in fact, compatible and that the same strategies will promote a sustainable harvest of the resource, increased filtration of estuarine waters, and increased provision of structured habitat for finfish, crabs, and other organisms that utilize oyster reefs or receive benefit indirectly from them. Creation or designations of unharvested sites (refuge sites) are key components of these strategies. Unharvested reefs have the potential to provide vertical relief, which is typically destroyed by harvest practices, to act as a source of larvae, which potentially increases the supply of harvestable oysters, and to protect those individuals most likely to have some resistance to disease. Furthermore. proper monitoring and design of refuge and restoration efforts are critical to providing information needed to improve the success of future restoration efforts, and will simultaneously enhance the basic information needed to understand the ecology of oysters and their role in estuarine and coastal systems.
Oyster Reef; Restoration; Water Quality; Harvest; Fish Habitat; Crassostrea Virginica; Sanctuaries
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Breitburg, DL; Coen, LD; Luckenbach, Mark; Mann, Roger L.; Posey, M; and Wesson, J. A., Oyster Reef Restoration: Convergence Of Harvest And Conservation Strategies (2000). Journal Of Shellfish Research, 19(1), 371-377.