Wild Oysters Functionally Extinct?

Add this to your growing list of Earth going to hell

Enjoy your shucking while it lasts. Wild oysters are now “functionally extinct” in many places around the world where they were once plentiful. More than 85 per cent of their reefs have been lost due to overfishing, according to a new study

via Wild oysters in danger of extinction – Nature, Environment – The Independent.

Dr. M (1746 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Assistant Director of Science for the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, a National Science Foundation supported initiative. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published over 50 papers in the area. He has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses on how energy drives the biology of marine invertebrates from individuals to ecosystems, specifically, seeking to uncover how organisms are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. food, and how this determines the kinds and number of species in different parts of the oceans. Craig’s research has been featured on National Public Radio, Discovery Channel, Fox News, National Geographic and ABC News. In addition to his scientific research, Craig also advocates the need for scientists to connect with the public and is the founder and chief editor of the acclaimed Deep-Sea News (http://deepseanews.com/), a popular ocean-themed blog that has won numerous awards. His writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web. His forthcoming book, Science of the South (http://www.scienceofthesouth.com/), connects cultural icons of South such as pecan pie with the science behind them.

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2 comments on “Wild Oysters Functionally Extinct?
  1. An interesting note on the functional extinction of oysters – there is a lot of interest now in using oysters to help clean up eutrophied and otherwise contaminated waters. In essence, shellfish people are interested in restoring the ecosystem function of oysters, not necessarily the fishery. An example of this is in the Hudson River, where several test reefs have been planted and some considerable new research is being done on the subject. I linked to some of these projects in my blog post here. Not suggesting functional extinction isn’t an issue, but its good to see some management strategies focused on restoring ecosystem function.

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