Oyster stocks would get a boost from a plan by state officials to create three shellfish hatcheries in North Carolina.
Mike Remige of the North Carolina Aquarium Division says the
hatcheries could produce (b) billions of tiny seed oysters for
restoration projects that have relied on imports from other states.
The hatcheries would be built next to the North Carolina Aquarium
on Roanoke Island, at Morris Landing near Holly Ridge and at the
University of North Carolina at Wilmington.
The state's oyster industry has been declining for decades.
Pollution has forced the closure of 365-thousand acres of the more
than one (m) million acres of shellfish water in the state.
In the early 1900s, overfishing was a problem because too many
bushels of oysters were harvested. More recently, disease and
parasites have cut production from 150-thousand bushels a year to
just 49-thousand bushels. The harvest rebounded last year to about