Tuesday, September 4, 2018 at 12:24PM
Drew Wolfe

The World Of An Oyster: Scientists Are Using Microphones To Spy On Reef Life

"A North Carolina State University researcher is using underwater microphones to help better understand the extensive array of animals living in the state's oyster reefs."

"In the 1600s, oysters reefs were so robust in U.S. waterways that they created a hazard for ships. But centuries of harvesting the delicious bivalve have decimated these reefs, which serve as breeding grounds for future oysters."

"That's why nearly every U.S. state with a coastline has a program to rebuild oyster reefs."

"The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality's division of marine fisheries uses barges to haul massive piles of spent oyster shells and other hard materials, like granite marl and concrete, to reef sites in Pamlico Sound. They then use large water cannons to blow it all off the deck and into the shallow, sandy waters. The shells and other materials provide habitat for oyster larvae to attach to, so they can grow and be harvested."

"The fisheries division knows the reef program is good for the state's $2.4 million oyster industry. But it's still unclear what the larger impact of these reefs are in terms of increasing biodiversity."


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