Friday, November 7, 2014

Chesapeake Oysters

For the last few years I have banned "oysters" as a possible term paper topic. The first few times I offered the course I was inundated by a surge of bad oyster papers, and I tell students that they gave me indigestion. The truth is just that I didn't see much controversial about them: they clean the Bay and they are economically viable in some places. So what's not to like?

Nice little article set me straight about it: traditional harvesters (locally called "watermen") apparently don't like oyster farmers because they put part of the Bay off limits for harvesting. Also they can't like the competition, though farmed oysters, being at least somewhat more labor intensive than the naturally harvested variety, may cost more. Also, some people find the nets unsightly.

Nothing's ever that easy, is it?

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