Trouble on the Half Shell

Baby oysters and carbon dioxide don’t mix. Jennifer Langston on June 22, 2011


Four summers ago, Sue Cudd couldn’t keep a baby oyster alive.

She’d start with hundreds of millions of oyster larvae in the tanks at the Whiskey Creek Shellfish Hatchery in Netarts, Oregon. Only a handful would make it.

Sometimes, they’d swim for a couple of weeks. But they’d stop developing before they grew a critical shell structure, or maybe the foot or eyespot. They’d feed poorly. One day, the larvae would simply die. A hatchery that has supplied seafood businesses for three decades had virtually nothing to sell for months, said Cudd, who owns the hatchery.


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