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Shellfish Reefs at Risk: A Global Analysis of Problems and Solutions

Report Published: 2009

marine shellfish reef restoration conservation science nature conservancy
Once dominant features in many temperate estuaries around the world, native oyster reefs are critically important ecologically and economically. Centuries of intensive fisheries extraction exacerbated by more recent coastal degradation have put oyster reefs near or past the point of functional extinction globally, but sensible solutions that could ensure conservation of remaining reefs and even reverse losses to restore ecosystem services are available. These solutions involve wider application of area-based conservation approaches, improvements in fisheries management, enhanced restoration for multiple ecosystem services (e.g., water filtration, nutrient removal, shoreline protection and fish habitat provision), and partnerships to improve water quality.

Authors: Michael W. Beck, Robert D. Brumbaugh, Laura Airoldi, Alvar Carranza, Loren D. Coen, Christine Crawford, Omar Defeo, Graham J. Edgar , Boze Hancock, Matthew Kay, Hunter Lenihan, Mark W. Luckenbach, Caitlyn L. Toropova, Guofan Zhang