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Letter: Oyster cages protect juvenile maritime species

Editor, Gazette-Journal:

You absolutely need to borrow or buy a copy of “Fishes of Chesapeake Bay” by Murdy, Birdsong and Musick. It is beautifully illustrated with detailed descriptions, pictures and behaviors.

As we intensively aquaculture clams and oysters in our daily work, we see many kinds of fish in their juvenile stages. Oyster cages and clam protective gear provide substantial attachment areas for food sought by crabs and fishes. Submerged seagrasses do not begin to provide those services.

For example, during the first two weeks of August you can easily see and watch baby spadefish under one inch long as they go through this part of their lives. Many years ago, when eelgrass was plentiful, you would search far and wide to find one baby spadie … now you can see many close at hand.

Our clam protective netting helps maintain sizeable, viable colonies of other species of clams: short and long razor clams, butterfish, angelwings, gem clams, cockles (blood cla...

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