You may not think oysters appear very pretty, but the fact is that their impact on our environment is surprisingly minimal. Many polluted coastline regions in the US have damaged fishing industries and are deeply polluted, but a possible solution to this is bivalve aquaculture. Farming oysters amongst clams and mussels has become one of the most sustainable procedures of seafood production. Indeed, oysters have a critical part to play in the management of our waters and coasts, meaning it wouldn’t hurt to incorporate a few more oysters into your diet.
Individuals working in the oyster industry often say it would be a good thing for everyone to get involved with. This is because, with the proper knowledge about what is involved in the oystering process, people may respect it much more. Why can oyster farming be considered sustainable? Take a little look below at some of the reasons why oysters and their farming process could be considered beneficial to our environment.
Oysters build natural reefs when grown in the wild
Oysters construct natural reefs that protect our coastlines from erosion and storm damage. Additionally, the oyster reefs give habitats to over a whopping two hundred marine species, allowing them to thrive and reproduce.
Oyster shells lock up carbon dioxide
It may be surprising to discover that oyster shells act as little carbon sinks since their shells capture carbon dioxide in water and hold it there. Too much carbon dioxide in our waters can make them too acidic, making it more challenging for shellfish species to grow shells. Despite this, oysters are not affected by rising carbon dioxide levels. This means they can use it as a critical ingredient within their shells. It is thought that widespread oyster farming could be significant in capturing colossal amounts of harmful carbon dioxide, working wonders for our environment.
Some things you need to consider about oyster farming
While oysters obviously have a lot of environmental benefits, it’s essential to weigh up the less beneficial factors too. In the process, specific procedures used to harvest oysters actually squash eelgrass, meaning that a species already vulnerable to decline on the West Coast could be facing even more devastating impacts.
The reduction of eelgrass could cause a decrease in certain types of fish and certain types of birds, such as the black brant. After all, any kind of decline in a species within a habitat will impact our ecosystem’s natural food chain and flow. Because of the risk of adverse modifications to the seagrass lifecycle by oyster harvesting, the number and size of oyster farms must be limited in areas and the farming procedure. It has been since argued that suitable measures were intact to oversee the environmental impact of oyster farming, particularly in Humboldt Bay.
Despite this, bivalve farming is undoubtedly an environmental effort, especially for the farmers involved in this process. Bivalves such as oysters are filter feeders, meaning they can clean our waters. They can also construct reefs that are home to countless other marine species. This allows biodiversity to thrive but also has positive implications as an environmental and economic project, especially since oysters stopped getting over-farmed and were put back into our waters.
Thus, we must keep the impact of oyster farming on shorebirds and certain types of fish in mind, although overall, this process could be considered reasonably kind to our environment!
- You can take many things from this content, including the fact that oyster farming may be more sustainable than you first thought. The seafood industry is often given a bad name regarding our environment, but oysters are surprisingly sustainable!
- Secondly, many businesses may be able to benefit from selling oysters. By showing off the way that farmers contribute to our environmental efforts, such a sustainable offering may attract more conscious consumers compared to the harmful protein sources out there.
- Finally, it is apparent that while some processes may be considered to be environmentally friendly, we still have to consider all implications to earn a well-rounded view. While oyster farming can be regarded as relatively sustainable, this shouldn’t mean that all its impacts should be ignored.