Creating oyster reefs in refuge areas where oyster harvesting is not allowed can protect brood stock and larger individuals with disease resistance (link). Creation of oyster reefs off limits to harvesting can enhance oyster populations in surrounding harvested areas that are many times the size of the refuge itself. Off limit reefs provide protection for larger individuals that have the greatest fecundity and some resistance to disease potentially increasing the fitness and survival of recruits to the harvestable population. Oyster reef sanctuaries develop into mature and structurally complex habitats with many associated benefits for fish and decapod crustaceans.

Appropriate metrics: reef density; size frequency; reef size; fragmentation; salinity; dissolved oxygen; temperature.

Related Methodologies