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Friday, March 21, 2008

ILLEGAL CATCH: Court date set for Shore man with undersized oysters

Throw the book at him!

A Daily Times Staff Report

EASTON — A Wittman man accused of trying to smuggle undersized oysters on a vessel near St. Michaels is scheduled to appear May 15 in Talbot County District Court.

Joseph Bruce Janda, 22, is accused of navigating a vessel through a Chesapeake Bay waterway with no lights, while hauling 11 bushels of oysters of which up to 30 percent were undersized, according to the Maryland Natural Resources Police.

The undersized oysters were discovered in a locked area of the vessel about 5 a.m. on Feb. 21, as Janda headed toward Wittman Landing, according to the NRP. Authorities secured a search and seizure warrant after Janda refused to unlock a door that blocked access to the bow or trunk cabin area, the agency said.

In all, the suspect is charged with 11 counts of possession of undersized oysters, as well as possession during a prohibited time and operating a vessel between sunset and sunrise without proper navigation lights and with expired visual distress signals, the NRP said.

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

"Knock-Off" Oysters Bingo Recipe


2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)

freshly ground black pepper

1 baguette cut in slices and toasted till crisp outside, still tender inside (I use a whole grain baguette)

4 cups baby spinach or baby greens

24 shucked oysters with their liquor or 1/2 pint if you are buying them already shucked (I would use the smaller standards or selects)

5 shallots peeled and chopped fine

2 tablespoons butter

Melt butter in medium sauté pan.

Add chopped shallots and cook over medium-low heat until transparent. Add vinegar, and then add oysters with their liquor.

Stir gently until oysters are just cooked (the fringes of the oyster will look like ruffles). Do not overcook. Add salt and pepper to taste.

To assemble: On a salad plate, place a handful of greens, then place 2-3 toast slices on top of greens.

Ladle the oyster-shallot mixture with liquid over the bread and greens and serve immediately.

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How to Handle and Prepare Unshucked Oysters in the Shell

First, handle very carefully with gloves at all times.

Second, there are five things that can be done with unshucked oysters.

1. Shuck or open them fresh.

2. Bake them in the oven, ready to eat.

3. Barbecue them, ready to eat.

4. Steam them open, ready to eat.

5. Steam them open partially cooked then finish by preparing by stewing, frying, etc.

First, it may be necessary to cull or break apart the oysters if they are in clusters of more than two or three. If you will notice, the backs are usually joined together on a dead shell. That's the seed shell on which the baby oysters cemented themselves to as free-swimming larvae. Use a bar to break this seed shell or to pry oysters apart at this point, down to singles or doubles.

1. Shucked Oysters. It is very hard to shuck oysters. Knife and shell cuts can happen easily. However, if you are daring, here's how. A regular oyster knife is required. Sharpen to a point and cut a cutting edge on both sides, up one full inch from the point. The oyster has a back, where the hinge or pointed end is; a front, the rounded end; a top, the flatter shell; a bottom, the more cupped shell. Using a pair of pliers, break off a half-inch or more of the front shell. This will create a small gap between the top and bottom shell, just enough to slip in the knife. Now that the tip of the knife is in the oyster at the front, wiggle and slide it toward the center of the oyster. There is a muscle attached at the middle to both the top and bottom shells. When you cut the muscle, the shells will easily spread. Then finish prying them apart and cut the oyster completely off the shells. In order to not cut up the meat then you slide the knife inward, slide close against the surface of the bottom shell so as not to murder the poor creature, that is until you are ready to cook them or just "eat 'em alive". Next, wash off the meat and refrigerate or freeze. For complete detailed tutoring, visit your local oyster farm..

2. Baked Oysters. Wash off the shells, place on a cookie sheet to catch the liquid and bake at 500 degrees for 15-35 minutes, depending on the size. Some shells will not be opened, so some prying will be necessary. You may eat them plain or dip them in a favorite butter sauce. HINT: Oysters cooked "cup up" will hold the liquid, making a jucier meat. "Cup down" results in the juice draining out, causing a drier oyster.

3. Barbequed Oysters. Wash the shells and place "cup up" on the barbeque for 15-45 minutes, depending on oyster size. Watch for oysters starting to open to indicate doneness. Again, some shells will not be opened, so some prying will be necessary.

4. Steamed Oysters. Wash the shells and place in a steamer for 10-20 minutes, depending on size. You will notice some oysters opening and that should indicate doneness.

5. Partially Steamed then Fried or Stewed Oysters. Wash and scrub the shells very good if you plan to save the nectar. Place oysters in a pan and steam using the usual steaming methods. After most of the oysters are open one-half inch, remove the meat. Either prepare and cook in the usual methods or freeze until later.

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Another Crisis for the Bay

The blue crab and the Chesapeake Bay are synonymous.

Callinectes sapidus is the crab's mellifluous scientific name. Callinectes means beautiful swimmer in Greek, and sapidus is Latin for tasty.

The blue crab has enormous symbolic and actual importance.

The green, yellow, orange and blue crustacean supplies a livelihood for watermen who ply the bay in search of the elusive prey, and sport for amateurs armed with mesh nets and chicken necks dangled from strings. Millions of bay aficionados relish extracting the delicate meat from steamed hard shells, while soft shells, whose molting heralds summer, are to die for. That's the good news.

The bad news is that the blue crab is in jeopardy ["Paucity of Crabs Prompts Plan to Reduce Harvests," Metro, Feb. 29].

Scientists are increasingly concerned that the crab may be the next threatened bay species. First, it was the rockfish, which rebounded from scarcity in the 1980s only after Maryland and Virginia heavily regulated commercial fishing. Then, over the past few decades, oysters were decimated by overharvesting, pollution and parasites. In the 1970s, the annual harvest averaged 15 million bushels; in 2003, it was 53,000. Finally, in the '80s and '90s, a severe depletion of shad led Maryland and Virginia to impose commercial fishing moratoriums that have slowed the decline.

In the 1990s, the annual blue crab catch was 140 million crabs, but that was last year's total bay population. This prompted the creation of a blue crab regulatory review committee, which analyzed the crab's status, evaluated the potential of 22 regulatory measures imposed in 1994 to reverse low abundance and spawning potential, and proposed improvements.

The committee, composed mainly of crab experts from Maryland, North and South Carolina, and Virginia, discovered no evidence that the strictures had increased bay-wide stocks or harvests. It did, however, blame water pollution, continuing losses in underwater grasses and overharvesting. The committee proposed short-term measures: decreasing the season by a month and the time that no-harvest zones can be fished, requiring larger escape hatches in most crab pots and restricting the winter dredge fishery. It also offered long-term proposals, such as a procedure for tagging crab pots.

At last month's meeting of the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, the agency that regulates crabbing, members agreed that the Chesapeake icon's state was dire. It voted unanimously to impose the near-term limitations. The debate emphasized concerns for crab health and the watermen, who are already devastated by losing oysters and shad, and it reflected the intrinsic tension involved in the agency's statutory mandate to restore the bay and revive its seafood fisheries.

The restrictions may be another nail in the coffin for watermen. However, juvenile crabs' sharp decline suggests that they might go the way of oysters, requiring dramatic action to restore the legendary crustacean. Only time, the crabs, the watermen and the bay will tell.


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Saturday, March 15, 2008

Check out a new blog I found:

River Mud Blog
Adventures and debacles from the urban & natural Chesapeake Bay

I am linking to their site. Check it out at:

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Lady Maryland

By William Pfingsten, March 8, 2008

1. Living Classrooms Foundation Marker

The Lady Maryland is an authentic replica of a pungy schooner, a Chesapeake Bay workboat that sailed the Bay in the 1700s and 1800s. Pungies were fast sailing vessels and were primarily used to transport perishable cargo such as watermelons, tomatoes, fish, oysters, and other items that needed speedy delivery to prevent spoilage. Pungy schooners were traditionally painted pink and green and their flat, wide decks made them very efficient cargo vessels. Pungies sailed the Chesapeake for over 150 years and were considered to be the best and most beautiful of all craft native to the Chesapeake. Today Lady Maryland is the only pungy in the world.

The Lady Maryland sails daily with area school children who learn about the history, ecology and economics of the Chesapeake Bay in a hands on educational program that provides leadership development and team building skills. Lady Maryland was built by Living Classrooms Foundation shipwrights and students at Baltimore's Inner Harbor in 1985.

Mildred Belle

The Mildred Belle is a Chesapeake Bay buyboat, a motor vessel whose function was to purchase oysters, crabs, and fish directly from the fishing fleet and transport the catch to the market. Built in 1948, Mildred Belle also dredged for crabs, trawl fished, and was used for sport fishing. Today, the Mildred Belle serves as one of the Living Classroom Foundation's research vessels, where students can use state-of-the-art scientific equipment as part of their learning.


The Sigsbee is an authentic Chesapeake Bay skipjack, a sailing vessel designed and built to dredge for oysters. In the late 1800s thousands of skipjacks fished in the Bay. Today, less than thirty skipjacks comprise the last commercial sailing fleet in the nation. Originally built in 1901, Sigsbee served in the oystering fleet for 88 years before becoming disabled. Students and shipwrights in the Living Classrooms Foundation's Save Our Skipjacks program spent ten months reconstructing the vessel. Today Sigsbee sails as part of the Foundations educational fleet and is instrumental in Living Classroom's oyster restoration project.

The Living Classrooms Foundation is a non-profit organization providing hands-on education and job training that motivates and empowers youth to learn by doing so that they may succeed academically, in the work place, and in their lives.

The Foundation's challenging outdoor education involves over 25,000 students each year. Living Classrooms Foundation vessels visit more than 25 ports in the region from Philadelphia to Norfolk and thousands of youth also experience innovative programs at the Living Classrooms Maritime Institute in Fells Point.

The Living Classrooms Foundation owes its success to its many benefactors, the City of Baltimore and the State of Maryland.

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A polluted Chesapeake Bay kills creatures and chokes plants

We must Endow the Bay to clean it up

The Virginian-Pilot

A polluted Chesapeake Bay kills creatures and chokes plants. It also destroys human lives, a fact made all too clear during a Virginia Marine Resources Commission deliberation on how to save the blue crab.

The VMRC instituted regulations on Feb. 26 to limit the crabs watermen take from the estuary. "We're not going to survive this," said Charles Pruitt from Tangier Island. "You might as well throw us out now; we've been regulated to death already."

That has been the all-too familiar reaction from fishermen and oystermen on a Bay decimated by pollution and disease.

Everyone knows the stories about the first explorers finding a Chesapeake Bay so crowded with wildlife that they could walk across on the backs of rockfish, eating oysters the size of dinner plates.

The modern Bay is a different place. Starved of oxygen for months at a time, filled with nutrients and pollutants, the oysters are almost gone, and the crabs are in trouble. After decades of effort, the rockfish have rebounded, thanks to the same kind of draconian management the watermen now decry for crabs and oysters.

The Bay has been destroyed by suburban sprawl, by overtaxed sewer systems, by destructive farming techniques. Its enormously complex, and badly understood, ecosystem has been knocked completely out of whack.

There's no way to be precise, but estimates blame two-thirds of the nutrient pollution in the Bay - nitrogen and phosphorus - on sloppy crop farming, on suburban runoff, on animal waste. Fertilizer and other nutrients wash into the watershed, essentially from any place it rains.

The stuff causes algae blooms, which rob waterways of oxygen. Which in turn kills the Bay and the animals and plants in it, and everything that depends on them.

"Water quality is the key," said Kelly Price, an Eastern Shore crabber, at the VMRC meeting. "Without that, you lose habitat. And without habitat, you're done."

The state has spent and is spending money to deal with the ancient and faulty municipal sewer systems that surround the Bay. That is a significant part of the Bay's problem - probably a third or more. But Virginia has yet to deal in a meaningful way with runoff from farmers and homeowners.

The reason is simple: Such "nonpoint source" pollution is hard to control. The state would have to do expensive things like help more farmers put up fences to keep animals out of creeks and rivers. It would have to do unpopular things like force farmers to maintain buffers to collect field runoff, or find a way to get homeowners to stop putting fertilizer on their lawns. The state would have to find a better way to control stormwater runoff, which washes fertilizer and pollutants directly into the Bay.

And it would have to pass laws to punish people and cities that don't or won't do those things.

All of which would be politically difficult - at a time when the state budget needs to be trimmed. But the effort is undeniably necessary at a time when 170,000 people move into the Chesapeake watershed each year, bringing more pollution and more damage.

"For all of the progress we have made upgrading sewage treatment plant technologies, we're losing ground on impervious surfaces: rooftops, driveways, roads - all of which carry sediment," said Secretary of Natural Resources L. Preston Bryant Jr. "I would say we're having a hard time now achieving the environmental protections to offset that kind of rapid growth. We can't conserve land fast enough to offset some of the other stuff."

General Assembly committees this year passed a bill to spend $100 million, but the bill died, a casualty of the economic slowdown. So, once again, Virginia faced a budgetary choice, and the choice was to spend money on things other than the Bay.

Under the threat of federal sanctions, the state committed years ago to cleaning up the Chesapeake by 2010. Virginia will not meet that deadline, and a gutted Environmental Protection Agency is unlikely to punish Richmond. But that doesn't invalidate the state's obligation.

Virginia's spending on the Bay must begin to meet its promises, no matter what happens to its finances. The solution to economic vagaries is to remove Richmond's choices, to create an irrevocable fund devoted permanently to Chesapeake cleanup. Maybe it's a penny of the sales tax, as has been proposed in the past. Maybe it's a new flush tax. But it should be something that can't be revoked.

If it wants to get serious about saving the crabs, the oysters and the watermen, Virginia must dedicate real money to the cause of the Chesapeake Bay, money that can't and won't be the first to disappear when the economy heads down the tubes.

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Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Oystering: A hard life in hard times

Skipjack restrictions, bay restoration efforts take their toll on watermen
By Kim Mitchell

DEAL ISLAND -- Decades ago, more than a thousand skipjacks dotted the waters of the Chesapeake Bay. Today, only three venture out from the Eastern Shore.

Most return with little to show for their hours of hard work.

Their crews wake up between 3:30 and 5 a.m., their workday wake-up call, even if they don't go out on the water.

"It's habit," said Walt Benton, a skipjack captain.

Factors that dictate whether to disembark each morning are about the same for every boat. If the weather is good, with sunny skies and little wind, they'll head out. It's a hard enough job as it is without adding extra risks, they say.

"It doesn't take much to keep you in when oysters are scarce," said Terry Daniels Sr., waterman.

They may get one day of work a week with the way the winds have blown this winter.

Even when the skies are clear and the winds and water are calm, there are no guarantees for good returns.

"We know where the spots are," Benton said. "There are some good, some bad. But you've got to try, you never know. You may not get any, but you know where not to go next time."

When the government saw hundreds of skipjacks taking their fill daily, a law was introduced in 1965 limiting the skipjacks to only two days of powered dredging.

Even though watermen say there are only about five operational skipjacks, the two-day law remains in effect. And, with only two days, the watermen don't like to waste them.

They can go out more days using sails, but said it's not worth the effort.

"It's barely worth going out there on power," said Delmas Benton, a skipjack captain.

"You can't keep a skipjack working on two days a week," Webster said. "The math is not there."

A skipjack brings in about 30 bushels of oyster a day, the average the last couple of years. And even with a decreased supply, it doesn't necessarily mean demand drives up the price.

The crews get about $32 per bushel. With a six-man crew, gasoline, maintenance work and other expenses, the men are lucky if they earn $130 a day.

The skipjack runs on two motors -- a push motor to move the boat and a winder to run the dredge. Delmas Benton said the two consume between 40 gallons and 50 gallons of fuel in a day of work. At $3 a gallon, they spend at least $120 for gasoline.

Just to remove the boat from water and have it painted costs $2,500, while a single dredging cable costs $1,000.

It costs between $5,000 and $10,000 a year to keep the boat up, Delmas Benton said.

"You better have a wife who works," Walt Benton said.

But the boats don't even leave the dock if the conditions aren't just right. By 8 a.m. most know whether they'll be on the water that day.

Days off

On their days off, which average about six days a week, the men do house and yard work and get their boats and crab pots ready for summer. On days when there is a chance of work, they can be found at Arby's convenience store across from Wenona Harbor waiting for the call.

They drink coffee, play cards, watch TV and talk.

"We're worse than women," Delmas Benton said. "We talk about everything."

This is how the watermen live during oyster season -- November through March.

The end of the oyster season signals the start of crab season in which they hope they will begin to make enough money to live. They barely break even from oystering; sometimes they don't.

Some make enough money for the year doing charter fishing expeditions and crabbing. Crabbing, they say, is what is keeping the watermen alive.

Some have given up the oyster trade, like Dickie Webster. He got tired of chasing after a crew, putting in the time only to dock each day with few bushels on board.

But others, like the Benton brothers, continue to go out year after year.

"I plan on going out until the day I die," Delmas Benton said. "I don't know how to do nothing else."

They can't live off the oysters any longer. In fact, they haven't lived off the oysters for at least two decades.

After years of bringing in upward of 160 bushels a day, Walt Benton remembers when he ended his last good season, already having 128 bushels on board.

In the summer of 1985, a parasite killed large numbers of Maryland's oyster population. The oysters never recovered, as toxins, chemicals and diseases killed a majority of the sexually mature adults.

The next fall, when Walt Benton returned to the same spot, he dipped three times, only getting a single oyster.

"I threw it back," he said. "If he survived disease, I wasn't going to kill him. You never take the last oyster."

They haven't had a harvest of any significance since, and watermen aren't sure of how to bring back the oyster population.

"They blame it on disease. It's easier to attack the disease than the real problem," Walt Benton said. "That's pollution. You have to be dumb not to know that."

Livelihoods come second
Seven options for restoring the bay and its native oysters are being discussed and researched by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Virginia Marine Resources Commission and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. They include supplementing native oysters with nonnative oysters, expanding native restoration, aquaculture native and nonnative species, discontinue native restoration efforts and implementing a temporary harvest moratorium on native oysters.

The watermen said that some of those efforts may eventually help, but a moratorium is not the best option.

"If it hasn't changed in 20 years, an extra (few years) won't help anything," Walt Benton said.

Webster said the bay may have a lot of young oysters, but there's no guarantee they'll live and grow to harvest size. The oysters typically do not live past three years of age because of disease and other toxic conditions so, he said, a moratorium would "do no good."

Sherman Baynard of Coastal Conservation Association Maryland, and a member of the Oyster Advisory Commission, said the only thing the moratorium would do is allow a chance to wait and see if oysters rebound. They would see if the few oysters that survive the diseases and conditions would be strong enough to become viable and reproduce.

"It's a sad situation. The commercial fishermen are barely hanging on but they have other opportunities; they can get other jobs on land and water (like with an oyster aquaculture program). But the oysters have no choice. They have to stay and hope for the best," he said. "That's why the moratorium is an option."

Baynard said the decision lies in what is best for the oyster, whether it ends up on our plates or survives to live in the bay.

"Thirty dollars a bushel is not the best use of this resource for the citizens of Maryland," he said. "It's more important that they are an ecological engineer, build reefs, filter water and give habitats than they are as products. Where's the best value?"

With diseases, toxic algae blooms and poor water conditions, the oysters have the fight of their lives every day --and they're losing, Baynard said.

"Everything in nature is trying to kill (the oyster). The only defense the oyster has against everything is that it has to be able to out-reproduce the mortality that is put upon it. That's what it has to do and it can't do it," he said.

An Environmental Impact Statement outlining the options and possible repercussions will be finished in May with the Oyster Advisory Commission writing a report for the state and federal governments to decide on a course of action.

But, the outlook is grim.

"The moratorium is the last resort," Baynard said. "We don't even know if the moratorium would allow the oysters to regenerate. There's so much going on that's bad. Even with man's best efforts, we're not sure we can get them to regenerate and be self-sustaining. If you look solely at science it doesn't look pretty."

The oyster will never be extinct, Baynard said, offering no such assurances for the fate of the watermen. For most, they remain on the water because they know no other life.

"If you're a skipjack (captain), it's because your father was one and his father was one," Walt Benton said.

They struggle ceaselessly to stay afloat.

"We're just trying to survive," Walt Benton said. "We just need to get to summer."


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Monday, March 3, 2008




One of the most delectable joys of living on the Chesapeake Bay lies inside the shell of the eastern oyster. Tough enough to deflect a hammer and sharp enough to rip a glove -- this crusty natural armor must be breached before you can slide the freshest of these mollusks past your lips and into your stomach. So many die-hard fans learn to shuck for themselves.

Even champions differ about the best method. Some of the fastest employ the "side-door" approach. Others attack the front lip in a style that has earned the nickname: "Chesapeake stabber." Simpler, more popular and still speedy is the "hinge" method favored by almost everyone else. World record-holder Patrick McMurray of Toronto has used it to shuck 33 oysters in 60 seconds.

Here's how these "butt shuckers" do it:

* Toss the departed. Dead oysters taste bad. They can and sometimes do make you sick. So chuck out any shells that have already opened.

* Clean'em up. Go over the rest with running water and a stiff brush as if your health depended on it -- because it does.

* Get a grip. Using a thick glove or a folded wash towel, hold the oyster cupped-side down with the hinge or butt end facing toward you.

* Set the blade. Take an oyster knife -- the best blade is short, thick and relatively dull -- and push the point in between the shells near the hinge.

* Take it easy. Brute force is counterproductive here. You could break the shell or shove the knife through your palm if you slip. So finesse it in with a little pressure and some wiggle.

* Turn 'n' pop. Once the blade is well set, give it a more pronounced twist and you should feel the shell pop open.

* Cut the muscle. Slide the knife in and scrape its edge along the inner surface of the top shell, aiming for the muscle located at about 2 o'clock. Do the same with the bottom and you should have an oyster ready to slurp -- plump, free of unappetizing scars, with no broken shell.

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Sunday, March 2, 2008

Fishery proposes largest trial yet of asian oysters

Posted to: Newport News News
By Scott Harper

The Virginia Seafood Council, a trade group, is proposing its biggest experiment with Asian oysters to date, asking to grow 1.3 million of the exotic species in the Chesapeake Bay and on the Eastern Shore, beginning June 1.

It would be the seventh experiment sponsored by the seafood council since 2000, and comes as Virginia and Maryland are struggling to restore native oyster populations in the Bay.

In addition to providing jobs, revenue and restaurant fare, oysters are key natural filters in the Bay's ecosystem.

Without them, water quality suffers from too much algae and sediments, which collectively are choking the Bay.

In controlled trials so far, the seafood council has determined that the Asian species - known as ariakensis or the Chinese oyster - does not succumb to the same diseases that have nearly wiped out native stocks in recent decades.

The Asian variety, originally from waters off China, Japan and Korea, is larger than the native type and grows to market size much quicker. Its taste, meanwhile, has proven comparable to the salty flair of Bay oysters.

This week, state regulators at the Virginia Marine Resources Commission agreed to vote on the new request following a public hearing next month in Newport News. The Army Corps of Engineers in Norfolk also must approve the experiment.

"We are very determined to continue forward with this," said Frances Porter, executive director of the Virginia Seafood Council, based in Newport News. "It's good for our industry as we continue to develop our markets for the Asian oyster."

As proposed, the 1.3 million Chinese oysters would be grown in protective cages or bags at 13 sites in coastal waters. The animals would have to be certified as sexually sterile before they could be deployed in the water. They would have to be removed by June 1, 2009.

Two of the proposed sites are in Hampton Roads, including one in the Lynnhaven River in Virginia Beach.

Cameron Chalmers, who started his own Lynnhaven oyster company, expects to grow about 100,000 of the Asian species on leased bottom in waters near First Landing State Park.

Chalmers has similarly raised non-natives the past two years at the same locale. He has sold them to an oyster shucking business in Gloucester.

"They grow almost twice as fast" as natives, Chalmers said. "And they don't need as much attention. They're pretty amazing."

Scientists and environmentalists, however, remain uncertain about the Asian oyster and its possible introduction in the Bay. They worry the foreign species might spawn a new disease, compete with other aquatic life, or spark some other unforeseen problem.

The Army Corps of Engineers is leading an environmental study of the Asian oyster and its potential impacts on the Bay. But the study has been delayed at least five times and may not be completed until late this year or next, according to the latest estimates.

"We've been expecting the results for two and a half years now, and once again, we still don't have them," said Porter, the seafood council head.

All of the Asian oysters used in the council experiments have been reared at a hatchery run by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, a branch of the College of William and Mary.

The government requires the babies come from the hatchery, given its adherence to mandatory safeguards and quarantines, designed to keep the Asian oysters from somehow escaping into the wild, according to the institute.

The first batch of babies, deployed in 2000, did not come from Asia, but instead from adult oysters flown to Virginia from Oregon.

Chinese oysters arrived in Oregon several decades ago as part of experiments with non-native species in that state, wildlife officials said.

Scott Harper, (757) 446-2340,

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