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Editorial: We were wrong

Don’t write that obituary yet. We were wrong, and we are so pleased to say so.

Back in 1993, an editorial in this space was titled “R.I.P. Oysters.” We wrote of the native oyster’s demise from disease, overfishing, pollution … whatever, stating “Many a fortune has been spent trying to figure out the decline. The oyster’s demise baffles the scientific world.”

A moratorium had been proposed and naturally drew opposition from those still trying to eke out a living from public and private oyster grounds in Virginia’s waters. Those were dark days for the Virginia oyster industry. A once-profitable business, employer of thousands, had crashed. Once-productive oyster grounds were empty.

Truly the harvest was at its nadir. In 1993-94, just 35,535 bushels of oysters were taken from public and private grounds, a shadowy fraction of the high of 4,051,085 bushels in 1958-59 (in records from 1957-2014 provided by the Virginia Marine Resource...

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