Maryland’s 2012 Chesapeake Bay Oyster Restoration Results Revealed - Page 8
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  1. #71
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    That quote doesn't support your claims at all. In that quote I don't say a moratorium makes no sense, I don't poo-poo the idea of a moratorium, and I don't say we SHOULD allow harvesting. Two pages later I wrote that "One can make a logical argument that given the state of the bay's oyster, harvests should be reduced or stopped entirely."

    I'm trying here, but I don't feel like I'm getting through. The only other person who ever felt I was this wrong about everything was my ex wife.

    WAIT A MINUTE... hmmmmm

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  3. #72
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    lol Mike. We call that "back pedaling" I'm not sure how your words can be interpreted any other way than you don't support a harvesting moratorium. And frankly I'm not sure why you would argue such a clear convincing quote, because I know you've taken a similar position in the past. Regardless of what you think, what's important is that Maryland is not entertaining a harvesting moratorium. Thats a problem.

    The linked graph below really tells the story.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    http://chesapeakebay.noaa.gov/images..._550_pixel.jpg

    If you think this is a bleak picture, here are some other factoids. The first recorded data shows the oyster mining industry was taking 400 times more lbs per year than it takes today. At today's dockside price, that equates to at least 600 times more fulltime jobs than Maryland's puny industry supports today. More recent data, which represents the "restoration era" ... in 1990, Maryland reported over 414K bushels. In 2011 watermen only reported 123K bushels. As a result of restoration, the industry is now harvesting only 30% of what it did when restoration kicked in. And if that wasn't troubling enough, in 1990 only about 3% or 11K of the 414K bushels was taken by power dredge. In 2011, over 50% of the 123K was taken by power dredge. This is a disturbing recovery trend. When harvesters increasingly rely on more efficient forms of harvesting, recovery efforts are more quickly eroded.

  4. #73
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    The reason why more oysters are harvested by dredges now as opposed to 1990, as a percentage, is three-fold. One, because the size of the area in which dredging is allowed very dramatically increased in 2004. Two, because a disproportionate percentage of the 24% of the harvest areas protected as sanctuaries were on hand tong and patent tong bottom. Three, because watermen as a group are getting much older in average age. Tonging, particularly hand tonging, is a young man's activity. So dredge areas are larger, tonging areas are smaller, and fishermen are getting older. It's not a "disturbing" trend, it's a perfectly logical result of changes in regulations and demographics.

    Not only is a harvest moratorium being entertained, it's already in place on 24% of the good oyster bars of the bay.

    This thread has long outlived it's intent. Thanks everyone for letting me get on my soap box, but I'm done with this one.

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  6. #74
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    Historically when fisheries fail, remaining harvesters only apply methods that significantly increase their catch per unit of effort. Your reasons dismiss this historical fact, and you use words like "perfect" and "logical" to describe the worst trend in Maryland's current oyster landings data. For all you know they're getting a quarter of what they got in 1990 by tearing through ten times more acreage than 1990. Ignore that possibility if you want...either way you're dismissing a problematic reality, based on anecdotal junk. Power dredging is the most devastating method of harvesting oysters. Any power dredging should be a concern. Half of Maryland's recovery fishery is power dredging. This isn't perfect or logical, its dumb.

  7. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patapsco Mike View Post
    It's not a "disturbing" trend, it's a perfectly logical result of changes in regulations and demographics.
    It's a disturbing trend if you've seen what power dredging does to the bottom.

  8. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patapsco Mike View Post
    ....Not only is a harvest moratorium being entertained, it's already in place on 24% of the good oyster bars of the bay.

    This thread has long outlived it's intent. Thanks everyone for letting me get on my soap box, but I'm done with this one.
    Mike,

    You contributed a lot of good information in this thread! I appreciate the views and perspective you shared and the reference to the scientific publication is especially interesting:

    "Native oyster species were once vital ecosystem engineers, but their populations have collapsed worldwide because of overfishing and habitat destruction. In 2004, we initiated a vast (35-hectare) field experiment by constructing native oyster reefs of three types (high-relief, low-relief, and unrestored) in nine protected sanctuaries throughout the Great Wicomico River in Virginia, United States. Upon sampling in 2007 and 2009, we found a thriving metapopulation comprising 185 million oysters of various age classes. Oyster density was fourfold greater on high-relief than on low-relief reefs, explaining the failure of past attempts. Juvenile recruitment and reef accretion correlated with oyster density, facilitating reef development and population persistence. This reestablished metapopulation is the largest of any native oyster worldwide and validates ecological restoration of native oyster species."

    That is a great local oyster restoration success story published in a highly respected scientific publication!

  9. #77
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    http://www.bayjournal.com/article/gr...ve_oyster_reef

    fwiw this article provides a more well rounded layman description of the Great wicomico oyster project. Several experts are quoted in this article, suggesting success is best measured over time. From those several quotes, the reader may infer that the Great outcome might not be as great as the authors concluded, and that using a singular isolated restoration project to predict the outcome of any other oyster project is unwise. I think real scientists will agree we should be attempting to correlate results from successful and failed projects, so we're applying scarce financial resources to projects with high confidence of sustained success. This is not what dredge and dump advocates are doing today. They're sort of saying, more dredging and dumping is better. The lack of data they have to defend this scheme should be evident.

  10. #78
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    One thing overlooked in those graphs is oysters poached and sold on black market.

    Well known that there are many buyers at $30.00 cash a bushel - no questions asked , no paper work or tags filled out.
    They say that life's a carousel - spinning fast, you've got to ride it well.

  11. #79
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    "I think real scientists will agree we should be attempting to correlate results from successful and failed projects, so we're applying scarce financial resources to projects with high confidence of sustained success. This is not what dredge and dump advocates are doing today. They're sort of saying, more dredging and dumping is better. The lack of data they have to defend this scheme should be evident."

    Matt, I'm still not sure who you think the "dredge and dump advocates" are, or what dredging you are talking about, or what specifically you mean by dumping. Please explain.

    If you'd like to see the level of science being developed for evaluation of restoration projects, visit the NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office site for information (including a link to the full text) on the report recently developed by an interdisciplinary team of federal and state oyster scientists for evaluating restoration projects. Begin with http://chesapeakebay.noaa.gov/fisher...report-adopted. Both restoration reef design and evaluation are complex processes. This report is a good indication of what it takes to get the jobs done.

  12. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.P. Williams View Post
    or what dredging you are talking about
    I can't speak for Matt, but if I had to guess, Google "Man-O-War shoal"...

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