The following article appears in the Winter 2009 issue of Nature Conservancy Magazine
Report Reveals Global Risks for Oyster Reefs
Baymen harvest an average of roughly 99,000 tons of oysters each year from the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. But that kind of bounty is now uncommon: Around the world, 85 percent of shellfish reefs have been lost to overfishing and habitat destruction, according to a new Nature Conservancy report, Shellfish Reefs at Risk.
“Shellfish reefs are the single most impacted marine habitat globally,” says Mike Beck, a Conservancy marine scientist and lead author of the report. Beck and his team of scientists compiled status reports from more than 144 estuaries and found that reefs were in significant decline worldwide. Continue reading