Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Community News Network

April 8, 2013

Crabs supersized by carbon pollution

(Continued)

WASHINGTON —

They went over to the oysters, but they didn't eat as many — sometimes fewer than half of what other crabs ate under normal conditions. Dodd scratched his head. "Acidification may be confusing the crab," he said. The situation, he concluded, "is more complicated than you'd be led to believe."

Ries said crabs might be getting loopy from all that carbon in their systems, depriving them of oxygen and putting them in a fog.

Both researchers said that acidification happens so slowly that crabs may eventually grow more accustomed to it. "You can't discount evolution taking over," Dodd said.

The Chesapeake Bay oyster certainly doesn't need any more bad news. Two diseases, Dermo and MSX, origin unknown, have killed them by the bushel for decades. That and overfishing have dramatically reduced their numbers, officials said.

Recently, the critter showed signs of a modest recovery in Virginia and Maryland. Virginia, which harvested only 79,600 bushels of oysters in 2005, racked up about 236,200 bushels in 2011, the most since 1989. Maryland had 26,400 bushels in 2005 but hauled in 121,200 bushels in 2011.

Oysters are filter feeders that play a critical role in cleaning the polluted bay. "One hundred years ago, the bay was crystal-clear because they filtered it every three weeks, as opposed to every three years today," Ries said.

That is one of several reasons why the two states recently launched all-out offensives to protect bay oysters.

Virginia created huge sanctuaries in public waters such as the Rappahannock River where watermen are allowed to harvest oysters on a rotating basis about every two years. The state also strongly encourages private aquaculture, selling plots of riverbed or bay floor to oyster farmers for $1.50 an acre.

Maryland has poured $50 million into its oyster recovery effort over the past 16 years. The state now forbids oyster harvesting on a quarter of the bars where they grow, protecting them with a fine of up to $25,000 and 15 years in prison. Maryland is only beginning to develop aquaculture.

Text Only
Community News Network
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video
Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites Anti-violence Advocate Killed, but Not Silenced. Dempsey: Putin May Light Fire and Lose Control Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires
Poll

Last weekend (July 12) the Goshen Parks Department held its Kid’s Try-athlon to promote childhood fitness and this week (July 18) the new bicycle trail is open to the fairgrounds in Goshen, offering residents a healthy way to get to the annual agriculture exposition. Have you joined the local fitness movement?

Yes, I work at eating healthy and exercising
No, I am happy with my fitness level
Changing my diet and exercise frequency is a work in progress
     View Results