Nonnative Oysters in the Chesapeake BayReport in Brief
The native oyster species of the Chesapeake Bay has been depleted to less than one percent of its original population. As a result, the Chesapeake Bay states are looking for ways to revive the oyster industry. This report discusses the proposed plan to offset the dramatic decline of the Chesapeake Bay's native oysters by introducing disease-resistant, reproductive Suminoe oysters from Asia. It is recommended that the introduction be delayed until more is known about the environmental risks, even though carefully regulated cultivation of sterile Asian oysters in contained areas could help the local industry and researchers. It is also noted that even though oysters also consume some of the excess algae caused by pollution, it could take decades before there are enough of them to improve water quality.