A lady sitting in the front of the room asked Dr. Allen of VIMS if, in fact, oysters do perform a valuable service by removing nutrients from the water and thereby help clean up the Bay. Dr. Allen expressed some skepticism that a relatively small number of oysters would have much of an effect.
We can safely say that the public has been conditioned for many years to nourish that nugget of creative environmentalism, and enjoy the fruits of that labor. But, if you saw up close the mechanics of an oyster’s pumping ability, you might begin to think it couldn’t accomplish such a huge task.
But please, don’t give up; all is not lost. Go to the library, or better yet, buy a copy of “Fishes of Chesapeake Bay” and turn to the section titled “Herrings.” You will scarcely believe what you read. Briefly, the various herring family members, including menhaden, were the most valuable fishery on the Bay.
Few people knew or understo...
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