Oyster recycling

Discussion in 'Environment' started by Dawhoo, Feb 8, 2018.

  1. Dawhoo

    Dawhoo Well-Known Member

    I know varies conservation groups spend significant resources recycling oysters - in particularly CCA-SC.... but is there any great research that it works?

    Anyone know any studies done?
  2. brianBFD

    brianBFD "This one time at band camp..."

    I'm guessing that you mean recycling as in putting down the shells to seed for new oyster reefs.?.?.? They tried it here in Mobile Bay, but everytime we have a tropical system come by it silts them over and any kind of growth dies.
    This (link) is the latest try at restoring the local oysters. This seems to have a little better science behind it. http://www.al.com/news/mobile/index.ssf/2017/12/saving_mobile_bay.html

  3. fjmaverick

    fjmaverick Well-Known Member

    They do it here but not on a large scale

    The problem with Naples bay is its all fed by the Gordon river which essentially turns into the golden gate canal system. When it rains in the summer the salt level change dramatically.
    Still we have some oyster bars. The last few years I've notice guides stopping to fish them.
  4. EvanHammer

    EvanHammer I Love microskiff.com!

    Galveston Bay Foundation does some reef restoration with recycled oyster shell from restaurants. I've seen some pretty good successes firsthand.

    I've also gotten some small reefs growing behind my parents' house by throwing my oyster shells there after shucking. Some areas down there the oysters grow any place they find a hard substrate to attach.
  5. fjmaverick

    fjmaverick Well-Known Member

    They can grow all the oysters they want in Naples Bay I dont think I would ever eat one. The bars in the bay are in the same area they had a known case of Vibrio. I support the fishing habitat though.
  6. WhiteDog70810

    WhiteDog70810 Mostly Harmless

    This is hearsay and not research, but I spoke with a guy a few years ago who works with oyster restoration in the Chesapeake Bay where they seem to have some success. His operation preloaded the shells with spat before they laid them down as reefs. I'll lay money the coastal studies folks in every coastal oyster producing state are working on the problem. I don't think anyone has a good answer yet because siltation and other water quality issues are the root cause of declining oyster numbers, not over-exploitation. These are complex problems that have to be addressed waaaaay upstream and not by just laying down new reef substrate.

    For what is worth, I am seeing more and more farmers leave field drainages (called waterways), buffer strips and potholes unplowed when they used to drive straight through them. They are starting to understand that it is worth the diesel and time (a 30' disc doesn't turn on a dime and those big tractors that pull them drink gallons of diesel each hour) to work around such features in order to avoid letting their soil and fertilizer wash downhill. Erosion hurts their bottom line as well as messing things up downstream.

    I found a bunch of articles when I typed in "oyster reef restoration research" into Google.

    brianBFD likes this.
  7. DuckNut

    DuckNut Brandon, FL

    There has to be a better way to re-introduce oysters.

    I read about Fl.O.O.R. from one of your searches. Started in 2005 and have only restored an area half the size of a Walmart.

    I know it is a good thing they are trying to do but it appears to be a very low rate of return. Not to mention dumping 2.5 tons of schucked shells in the river per month. Seems that it might be a cost free way of disposing of the trash.

    There has to be a better way.
  8. Smackdaddy53

    Smackdaddy53 Zephyr Cove is on FIRE!

    What does vibrio have to do with oysters? Vibrio is in every body of water on the Gulf Coast. If oysters weren’t safe to eat by those guidelines Texas oystering would be shut down...
  9. fjmaverick

    fjmaverick Well-Known Member

    Those oysters in low water quality areas are all you

    I don't think that is the story I was looking for
    I think someone in fort Myers beach actually got served one in a restaurant. Can't find it so I could be wrong.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018 at 11:47 AM
  10. jmrodandgun

    jmrodandgun Well-Known Member

    Being worried about vibriosis is pretty silly, but whatever floats your boat. There are about a dozen different species that cause vibriosis. You're more likely to get norovirus from the lettuce at your local sandwich chain than vibrosis from oysters.
  11. UnitedFly

    UnitedFly Well-Known Member

    FMB huh? Little Vibrio with a side of Hepatitis!
    flysalt060 likes this.
  12. Smackdaddy53

    Smackdaddy53 Zephyr Cove is on FIRE!

    Vibrio is nothing new, just more people in the water and social media exposure makes it seem that way.
  13. Edfish

    Edfish I Love microskiff.com!

    I do a bit of research on oyster fisheries and restoration, but lots of people know more than me. But since I actually do this for part of my job, I feel a bit of responsibility to reply. What follows is my unofficial opinion as a person, angler, and site member, and is not representative of any institute, agency, or granting organization.

    TL;DR: I think it can work if done carefully, it is expensive, and I don't think we have spent enough time looking at the benefit cost ratios to authoritatively say the best way to do oyster restoration, but my opinion right now would be to focus on smaller, taller reefs, with more durable materials like rock or shell in cages/bags.

    One good, free source of info especially about oyster restoration:

    The OP asked for what research as been done on this. To be brief, there has been lots. Most just looks at whether oysters grow on what was put in the water. Usually the answer is yes. Less research has been done on the longevity of those "restored" bars/reefs, whether they effectively establish themselves and spread, and how useful they are to fish and other animals. Most importantly, it's more rare that scientists carefully evaluate whether the restoration was worth it in terms of benefits and costs. Some scientists want to do this, but those types of projects seem to get funded less often than the "construction" projects (to do the initial restoration). And it's not easy to count up the benefits in an objective way, 'cause water and animals move and such.

    What has been looked a little bit is the "height" of the restoration--I mean how tall the stuff (shell, rock, shell in bags, whatever) that is dumped in for oysters to grow on. Increasingly, it's looking like the taller, more permanent structures are a lot better. Maybe that's not going to surprise anyone, but like some people have pointed out, for many decades (at least in some places), agencies have (and still) just spread a lot of loose shell out. It seems like in a lot of places, "low" shell (close to the bottom, spread out) gets buried, or leaves the settling oyster more vulnerable to predation from crabs, etc. So it follows that there's room for improvement in oyster restoration efficiency. A lot of money (mostly from the BP oil spill settlement) will get spent on restoration projects in the next two decades. I'll personally be bummed if some of it doesn't go to figure out when, where, and how restoration gives us the most bang for the buck. We can almost certainly do oyster restoration better. That said, there are a lot of important things that need being done--and I'm not going to say oyster restoration is a better use of money than education or freshwater conservation. When I think about the alternatives, all the decisions get hard...

    I didn't cite sources here besides that first link. If the OP or anyone else is still reading, I can send you links to the primary papers from which I'm summarizing. Most folks won't be able to download the entire paper (just see the abstract/summary) because journals that publish them keep them behind paywalls. PM me if you want me to send you some pdf copies.
  14. Net 30

    Net 30 Soy un Perdedor

    EdK13 and flysalt060 like this.