Oysters ‘Functionally Extinct’ Worldwide

Yet another sign that we’re entering end-times territory as oysters are declared “functionally extinct.” From AFP via Yahoo News:

A survey of oyster habitats around the world has found that the succulent mollusks are disappearing fast and 85 percent of their reefs have been lost due to disease and over-harvesting.

Oysters in a claire at Belon

Most of the remaining wild oysters in the world, or about 75 percent, can be found in five locations in North America, said the study published in BioScience, the journal of the American Institute of Biological Sciences.

An international team of researchers led by Michael Beck of the Nature Conservancy and the University of California, Santa Cruz, examined the condition of native oyster reefs in 40 ecoregions, including 144 bays.

“Oyster reefs are at less than 10 percent of their prior abundance in most bays (70 percent) and ecoregions (63 percent),” said the study.

“They are functionally extinct — in that they lack any significant ecosystem role and remain at less than one percent of prior abundances in many bays (37 percent) and ecoregions (28 percent) — particularly in North America, Australia and Europe.”

By averaging the loss among all regions, the researchers came up with an estimate that 85 percent of oyster reef ecosystems have been lost, but said that figure was likely low because some areas lacked historical records for comparison…

[continues at AFP via Yahoo News]

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  • NOLAkid

    I’m curious about the finding that oysters are abundant in the Gulf of Mexico? Is this study pre-oil spill? Because the Gulf Coast is “importing” most of its oysters for restaurants, etc from California & other places since our own (formerly abundant) oyster beds are either wiped or yet to be cleared for consumption by the Federal Government. Considering that oil is still coming in and BP cleanup boats are still out there, I’d say it will be a long time before Gulf oysters are once again abundant.

  • NOLAkid

    I’m curious about the finding that oysters are abundant in the Gulf of Mexico? Is this study pre-oil spill? Because the Gulf Coast is “importing” most of its oysters for restaurants, etc from California & other places since our own (formerly abundant) oyster beds are either wiped or yet to be cleared for consumption by the Federal Government. Considering that oil is still coming in and BP cleanup boats are still out there, I’d say it will be a long time before Gulf oysters are once again abundant.

  • Guest

    yet another sign that environmentalist lefties are using alarmist scare-tactics to obtain more funding.

  • Belcat

    I’m curious how you can up with that conclusion.

    In any case, no funding is really needed. They need to cut back on harvesting. I suppose the people who can no longer harvest oysters will complain they need transitional funding to find a new job, but that’s a different story.

    It’s too bad some attitiudes may very well ensure we run out of oysters.

  • Nowhereman

    In the Chesapeake Bay the fishermen, when confronted with the loss of their oyster beds proceeded to up the harvest until they were all wiped out, oysters and fishermen alike. If you can put a dollar on it, kill it and sell it off. Our country stands for nothing else except for this type of greed and social suicide.

  • Nowhereman

    In the Chesapeake Bay the fishermen, when confronted with the loss of their oyster beds proceeded to up the harvest until they were all wiped out, oysters and fishermen alike. If you can put a dollar on it, kill it and sell it off. Our country stands for nothing else except for this type of greed and social suicide.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_X5VFENTA5V2XX6F6SEI4DFI3XI Howard Roark

    It’s a problem of the commons, not of any political party.

  • Ralphie

    The oyster industry is only a shell of what it used to be.

  • Ralphie

    The oyster industry is only a shell of what it used to be.

  • justagirl

    does this mean no more pearls? :(

  • justagirl

    does this mean no more pearls? :(

  • JCBuffman

    let them eat clams…

  • JCBuffman

    let them eat clams…

  • Belcat

    I’m curious how you can up with that conclusion.

    In any case, no funding is really needed. They need to cut back on harvesting. I suppose the people who can no longer harvest oysters will complain they need transitional funding to find a new job, but that’s a different story.

    It’s too bad some attitiudes may very well ensure we run out of oysters.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_X5VFENTA5V2XX6F6SEI4DFI3XI Howard Roark

    It’s a problem of the commons, not of any political party.