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Table Of Contents

EXECUTIVESUMMARY
INTRODUCTION
METHODS
RESULTS
ConditionofOysterReefsGloballyAcrossBaysandEcoregions
RegionalSummariesofthe ConditionofShellfishReefs
OverviewofThreatsandCausesofDecline
RecommendationsforConservation,Restoration,andManagement
CONCLUSIONS
REFERENCES
APPENDIX1
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First-Ever Global Report on Shellfish Finds 85 Percent of World’s Oyster Reefs Have Vanished

First-Ever Global Report on Shellfish Finds 85 Percent of World’s Oyster Reefs Have Vanished

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Published by Blue
Today, The Nature Conservancy released the first-ever comprehensive global report on the state of shellfish at the International Marine Conservation Congress in Washington, DC. The report, which finds that 85 percent of oyster reefs have been lost worldwide, concludes that oyster reefs are the most severely impacted marine habitat on the planet.

The report, written by scientists across five continents, from conservation organizations as well as academic and research institutions, focuses primarily on the distribution and condition of native oyster reefs.

Besides being a culinary favorite and a long-standing staple in seafood restaurants around the globe, oysters provide benefits to humans in less obvious ways. For example, they act as natural water filters and improve water quality, provide food and habitat for fish, crabs and birds, and serve as natural coastal buffers that help to protect shorelines and keep coastal marshes intact, an important factor in protecting communities against increased storm surges and sea-level rise expected with climate change.

Native oyster reefs were once ecologically and economically dominant in many temperate estuaries around the world. Just as coral reefs are critical to tropical marine habitats, bivalve shellfish are the ecosystem engineers of bays and estuaries, creating the enabling conditions for many other species as well as providing important services to people.

Centuries of intensive fisheries extraction exacerbated by more recent coastal degradation have put oyster reefs near or past the point of functional extinction worldwide. Globally, 85 percent of reefs have been lost, making oyster reefs the most severely impacted marine habitat on the planet.

Shellfish reefs and beds are essential to the health of marine ecosystems, yet they are almost always solely managed for harvest not habitat. The Shellfish Reefs at Risk report provides the first global view of the distribution and condition of oyster reefs – one of the most important and valuable resources to humans but among the least well recognized as a habitat.

Realistic and cost-effective solutions in conservation, restoration, and management can help turn the tide for shellfish reefs. By implementing these solutions, we can work to stem reef loss and increase the viability of this critical habitat.

Source: Nature Conservancy
Today, The Nature Conservancy released the first-ever comprehensive global report on the state of shellfish at the International Marine Conservation Congress in Washington, DC. The report, which finds that 85 percent of oyster reefs have been lost worldwide, concludes that oyster reefs are the most severely impacted marine habitat on the planet.

The report, written by scientists across five continents, from conservation organizations as well as academic and research institutions, focuses primarily on the distribution and condition of native oyster reefs.

Besides being a culinary favorite and a long-standing staple in seafood restaurants around the globe, oysters provide benefits to humans in less obvious ways. For example, they act as natural water filters and improve water quality, provide food and habitat for fish, crabs and birds, and serve as natural coastal buffers that help to protect shorelines and keep coastal marshes intact, an important factor in protecting communities against increased storm surges and sea-level rise expected with climate change.

Native oyster reefs were once ecologically and economically dominant in many temperate estuaries around the world. Just as coral reefs are critical to tropical marine habitats, bivalve shellfish are the ecosystem engineers of bays and estuaries, creating the enabling conditions for many other species as well as providing important services to people.

Centuries of intensive fisheries extraction exacerbated by more recent coastal degradation have put oyster reefs near or past the point of functional extinction worldwide. Globally, 85 percent of reefs have been lost, making oyster reefs the most severely impacted marine habitat on the planet.

Shellfish reefs and beds are essential to the health of marine ecosystems, yet they are almost always solely managed for harvest not habitat. The Shellfish Reefs at Risk report provides the first global view of the distribution and condition of oyster reefs – one of the most important and valuable resources to humans but among the least well recognized as a habitat.

Realistic and cost-effective solutions in conservation, restoration, and management can help turn the tide for shellfish reefs. By implementing these solutions, we can work to stem reef loss and increase the viability of this critical habitat.

Source: Nature Conservancy

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Published by: Blue on May 24, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/11/2014

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