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Floating Oysters is Better for Business

by Ellen Hardy
01 February 2008, at 12:00am

US - There aren't many oysters on the floor of Maryland's Choptank River - but there are millions near the surface in floats owned by an oyster hatchery that's success is creating huge interest.

The Marinetics company is putting oysters back in a place where they'd nearly been wiped out, says an article in the Bay Journal. The business, also called the Choptank Oyster Co, has about five million oysters living on 3,000 floats in a river near Cambridge. The business, founded by a husband and wife team interested in oyster recovery, raises disease-free oysters-a rarity in the troubled Chesapeake Bay watershed.

"It's not a real easy way to make a living," said Kevin McClarren, who manages the oyster hatchery. The shellfish raised here are marketed as "Choptank Sweets," and are for the restaurant trade.

Three of Maryland's commercial oyster growers use floats to raise the stock, mainly because the bottom of the Bay and its rivers are choked with sediment, making oyster survival difficult.

"It's not fail-safe, but the risks are probably quite a bit less than if they were grown on the bottom,' said Karl Roscher, aquaculture coordinator for the Maryland Department of Agriculture.

To read the full story click here.

Ellen Hardy