Skip to comments.Biologists discover giant exotic oysters in San Francisco Bay
Posted on 08/18/2006 1:32:49 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
Biologists have discovered giant invasive oysters that could threaten efforts to restore native oyster species in San Francisco Bay.
Government staffers and volunteers removed 256 of the exotic mollusks last week after searching the mudflats between the Dumbarton Bridge and the San Leandro Marina, biologists said Thursday.
Scientists have not identified the species, which grow up to 9 inches long and in a variety of shapes. They don't know how the exotic oysters got here or how they could affect the bay if their population expands.
Biologists are concerned the monster oysters could take over the best habitat and form reefs unsuitable for local fish and invertebrates. They could also threaten the bay's native Olympia oyster, Ostrea conchaphila, which usually grow no more than 2 1/2 inches long.
"We're really concerned about these nonnative oysters out-competing the native oysters," said Abe Doherty at the California State Coastal Conservancy.
A big empty shell of an exotic oyster first turned up more than two years ago near the eastern end of the Dumbarton Bridge. The species wasn't found again until three weeks ago when five large live oysters were discovered in the same area.
Wildlife officials quickly organized an effort to remove the unwelcome mollusks and hope they can eliminate them before they harm the bay ecosystem.
"We have a chance," said Andrew Cohen, who directs an invasive-species program at the San Francisco Estuary Institute. "We don't know if they're actively reproducing in the bay yet."
What do they taste like?
I saw an show on Food Channel about these oysters, I forget their names, but they are native to the Seattle area. They say they are pretty good to eat, but not raw.
If they taste good it shouldn't be a problem getting rid of them.
Ecological Nanny State Ping
They probably got in the Bay the same way zebra mussels got in the Great Lakes - hitched a ride in the bilge of a foreign ship.
If they're any good, just making it open season on the buggers should do the trick.
How large and what color are the pearls? :)
I'm gonna have nightmares now. THAT is just plain freaky. Who said those things are an aphrodisiac?
Oh, sure. *My* image gets pulled.
I hear there's a rare species of endangered sponge worm on the bottom of the ocean. Lets send all the red/greens down to protect them!!
Hold on now... Who says that they're an invasive species? Perhaps they belong there. Since they haven't been identified, authorities can't just declare them to be "exotic". This could simply be a very rare species of native oyster; in other words, an endangered species! They need to be protected so that schoolchildren of the future can enjoy looking at them!
(For the uninitiated, that's pronounced, "gooey duck." No, I don't know why.)
Must be your reputation. ;)