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Scientists Declare Oysters "Functionally Extinct"

Scientists Declare Oysters "Functionally Extinct"

If you care about the future of sea life, maybe you shouldn't be eating oysters. A recent study shows over 85 percent of wild oyster reefs have disappeared, thanks to overharvesting and disease. The study, conducted by The Nature Conservancy and the University of California and published in BioScience, examined reefs across 44 ecoregions and 144 bays, excluding Japan, China, South Africa, and the Koreas.

The verdict? Oysters, overall, are in "poor" condition. "They are functionally extinct in that they lack any significant ecosystem role and remain at less than 1 percent of prior abundances in many bays and ecoregions, particularly in North America, Australia, and Europe," the study stated.

Roughly 75 percent of the remaining wild oysters in the world can be found within five North American locations, so that's good news, but maybe that means steering clear of anything that's not a farmed oyster, lest the bivalves vanish completely. Yet another reason to pay attention to sustainable seafood guidelines.

Image Source: Thinkstock
Join The Conversation
three-active three-active 6 years
This is really sad, thank you for bringing this to my attention. I am a vegetarian so I don't eat oysters, but I always try to be a voice for those who can't speak... including oysters. Melanie http://www.threeactive.com
Leta-Shy Leta-Shy 6 years
Wow. You're right, definitely a good reminder to know your sustainable foods!
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 6 years
...And this is why we should be "bothered" to look for sustainable seafood instead of regarding it as something you check on when you remember to.
onlysourcherry onlysourcherry 6 years
:( this makes me think of alice in wonderland.
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