"Oyster Reefs Are Vanishing From Overharvesting"

"Roughly 85 percent of the world’s oyster reefs have disappeared since the late 19th century, with many formerly prolific reefs rendered “functionally extinct” because of overharvesting and other manufactured causes, according to a new study published in BioScience.

Areas where wild oysters have largely been extinguished include the Wadden Sea in Northern Europe and Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island.

Oyster reefs were once the dominant ecosystem in the world’s temperate bays and estuaries, but destructive dredging by fishermen, pollution and the spread of disease through the introduction of non-native oyster species have led to their widespread decline."

John Collins Rudolf reports for the New York Times February 3, 2011.

Friday, February 4, 2011