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VIMS Articles

Oysters

2017

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History Of The Virginia Oyster Fishery, Chesapeake Bay, Usa, David M. Schulte May 2017

History Of The Virginia Oyster Fishery, Chesapeake Bay, Usa, David M. Schulte

VIMS Articles

Oyster populations in Virginia's waters of Chesapeake Bay were lightly exploited until the early 1800s, when industrial fishery vessels first arrived, driven south from New England due to the collapse of northeastern oyster fisheries. Early signs of overexploitation and habitat degradation were evident by the 1850s. The public fishery, where oyster fishers harvest on state-owned bottom, rapidly developed after the Civil War and peaked in the early 1880s. Declines were noted by the late 1880s and eventually prompted the creation of Virginia's shell-planting and oyster-seed (young-of-the-year, YOY) moving repletion program in the 1920s. Despite management and increasing repletion ...