U.S. companies launch oyster recovery initiative
Seattle Fish Company of Denver, together with Rappahannock River Oysters (RRO), the Barcat Foundation and the Oyster Recovery Partnership (ORP), have announced an oyster shell recycling initiative available to all restaurants and grocers in Colorado.
The goal of the partnership is to restore the Chesapeake Bay oyster population, which has plummeted due to loss in habitat, declining water quality, disease and overfishing.
Seattle Fish Co. will collect used shells from program participants throughout Colorado. The used shells will be shipped to Boston via Colorado Atlantic Express. RRO will then ship the shells to the ORP’s facility on the campus of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science’s campus in Cambridge, Md.
From there, the shells will be aged, cleaned and replanted in the bay with baby oysters attached. There, the shells are placed in designated sanctuary reefs to provide a natural habitat for new oysters and other marine life to grow.
One recycled shell can host up to 10 individual baby oysters that will then grow naturally into clusters and repopulate the sanctuary.
“Oyster shell is a limited resource and vital material for oyster recovery efforts,” said Stephen Abel, ORP executive director. “Having partners like Rappahannock River Oysters and Seattle Fish join the Shell Recycling Alliance and expanding the amount of shell we are able to collect will benefit not only our restoration program but also have a direct and positive impact in improving the Chesapeake Bay.”