[Chesapeake Quarterly masthead]
2004
Volume 3, Number 3
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REBUILDING THE BAY'S OYSTER REEFS
TRANSCRIPT

On-screen interview: Don Meritt, a shellfish aquaculture scientist with the Horn Point Environmental Laboratory of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science.

DON MERITT
NWe've been trying to bring hatchery techniques and innovative oyster culture techniques to the Chesapeake Bay.

Don Meritt placing oysters on a lab tray, working in the oyster hatchery.

DON MERITT
(continuing)
The crisis with the oyster fishery has driven home the idea that we need to try something new and innovative.

A large boat, a former oyster buyboat approaches the oyster the Horn Point Environmental Laboratory on the Choptank River.

DON MERITT
(continuing)
The Bay's changed. And what we are trying to do is to use hatcheries to rebuild some oyster reefs.

A worker standing in water up to his waist hooks a line to a flat full of oyster bags that have been growing in the nursery waters here at the lab.

DON MERITT
(continuing)
The watermen, the fisheries managers, the scientists, even though we have had some disagreements over how things should be done, we've all realized we are after the same goal, which is to try to get more oysters back out there.

Oyster bags are lifted on to an old buy boat.

DON MERITT
(continuing)
We've got a severe problem with our oyster population.

But this, this has an excellent chance of surviving to grow up to be a three to four inch oyster.

CHARLIE FRENTZ
We've got a severe problem with our oyster population.

Frentz picks up and slices a bag of oyster shell, all loaded with the spat of new, baby oysters.

CHARLIE FRENTZ
(continuing)
You see there are at least 250 oyster shells in one of these bags, about a third of a bushel each.

The oyster boat underway, hauling spat-filled oyster shell to planting grounds in Eastern Bay. There oyster shells are washed overboard with a powerful hose, landing on the bottom of the bay.

DON MERITT
hat we are trying to do with the University, with the Department of Natural Resources, with a ton of volunteer groups, the Maryland Oyster Recovery Partnership, is to produce more oysters, to do it better, to do cheaper, to do it more efficiently, to get more oysters out there, not only for our fishery but for the overall health and ecology of the Chesapeake Bay.

An underwater shot of a new, replanted oyster bar.


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