Monday, January 03, 2005

Oyster Idea In Md. Hits Rough Reas

Back in perhaps few hundred thousands years ago, our earth plate were in one. Then the sea water is just into one sea. The sea water pollutions were not as alarming until the Industralization era.

After the 2nd world war, the earth populations are going through explosion. Couple with the explosion of Manufacturing & Industries sectors, wastes are dump into the sea & polluted air release to the air. Hence, our water are pollluted & contaminated.

I believe, using enzymes to clean up the sea water contaminations is a better solutions than using Oyster. As fisher men & businessmen may be ignorance, & capitalize on these polluted oysters in the market place.

Then, beside the Oyster, other fish's will be contaminated as well. My view is that we shall look up for the best sollution to clean-up already contaminated sea water for the great health of the world.

Oyster idea in Md. hits rough seas
By Traci Watson, USA TODAY

The Chesapeake Bay, the nation's largest estuary, is looking for a savior. And Maryland's governor hopes he's found it in a strange mollusk from the other side of the world.

Robert Ehrlich is considering a plan to dump thousands of Asian oysters into the bay, believing that the foreign species could revive the nearly extinct oyster industry — and rejuvenate the Chesapeake by filtering harmful chemicals out of the water.

Problem is, nobody else seems to like the idea. Foreign-born animals that have made it into the USA often go wild, shoving aside native species and breeding out of control. The noisy bird called the European starling, for example, has displaced native songbirds after being turned loose in the USA by misguided bird lovers. And a South American rodent called the nutria, released to start a fur industry, is destroying southern wetlands.

"A number of non-native species that have been introduced with good intentions have brought ecological disaster," says Michael Fritz of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Chesapeake Bay office. Maryland's idea for importing Asian oysters "raises concerns," he said.

But the high-stakes issues facing the Chesapeake Bay, and the desperate need for solutions, underscore just how far states might go to solve seemingly hopeless environmental problems.

The bay is among the nation's richest estuaries, the waterways where freshwater and saltwater mix. Once it boasted billions of native oysters that supported a thriving fishing industry, helped keep the bay clean and fed a nation hungry for oyster stew.

Since 1900, overfishing, pollution and diseases have devastated the bay's oysters and the lucrative oyster harvest. Maryland officials see the Asian Suminoe oyster as a potential solution, partly because of its resiliency — the Suminoe lives along the coasts of China and other Asian nations and may be resistant to diseases that kill its U.S. cousin.

"The Asian oyster brings real hope that we can return the bay to the crown jewel it once was," Ehrlich said in announcing the proposal. But the EPA, environmentalists and university scientists have raised a stink about Maryland's proposal. They say too little is known about the Asian oyster. They fear the newcomer would supplant the native oysters.

Bringing in the Asian oyster before studies are complete would be "ill-advised" and "imprudent," says a recent report written by a panel of scientists for the National Research Council, the premier U.S. scientific institution. Maryland is acting with "an abundance of optimism and a relative dearth of information," says a statement by the environmental agencies of New Jersey and Delaware.

Other invasive species in the USA include the zebra mussel, which probably piggybacked into the country on ships and now clogs pipes in much of America, and the snakehead fish. Snakeheads, often dumped into rivers by people who bought them as food or pets, are gobbling native fish in several states.

Despite the warnings, Ehrlich sent the EPA a letter this fall, asking the agency not to study the issue for too long, according to The Sun in Baltimore.

Criticism of the state has been so fierce that Maryland officials recently formed a panel of scientists to help it decide whether enough is known about the Asian oyster to introduce it to the bay. The state's decision is expected in March.

Maryland's point man on the oyster says the state has spent millions of dollars on research to answer questions.

"I believe that a number of questions that have been raised can be answered one-quarter by March," says Pete Jensen of the state's Department of Natural Resources. The goal is "being able to come to a conclusion that is supported by science."

If Maryland decides to go ahead, no one could stop it. U.S. law bans the spread of only a few exotic species. The Asian oyster is not among them. So one state could change the fortunes of many others that still have thriving beds of native oysters.

"The benefits to the Chesapeake Bay of more oysters might not be what Texas wants," says oyster scientist Roger Newell of the University of Maryland's Center for Environmental Science. "It's a very tricky question."

What if the state decides not to seed the bay with Asian oysters? That raises the possibility of a dreaded "rogue introduction" — oysters dumped in the bay by impatient fishermen or shellfish farmers who decide to take matters into their own hands.

"I know damn well it's going to happen," says Larry Simns, head of the Maryland Watermen's Association, which represents fishermen. "It's only a matter of time."

Assuming the Asian oyster can survive in U.S. waters, so little is known about it that it could be a total bust.

No one knows how fast it grows, for example, or whether it harbors diseases that could affect diners. Research to fill in the blanks won't be done by March.

The controversy hasn't deterred those who see the Asian oyster as a possible answer to their prayers. Large populations of Asian oysters would filter out chemicals that pollute the bay's water, the state's Jensen says. That would be good news for blue crabs, striped bass and other bay species. Read More.... - Oyster idea in Md. hits rough seas

No comments:

CharlieBrown8989 aka Charlie Tan © 2006 - 2007 • all rights reserved