Of all the crustaceans, oysters rank high in popularity. They are found in fresh water almost everywhere in the world except the Pacific Islands. There, a special species called Clibanarius belongs to. This group includes two subspecies, White and Pleasure.
Oysters belong to the Bivalve mollusk order. Clibanarius means “joy of the sea”. Other names are giants of the sea or monsters of the sea. Oysters provide marine crustaceans with food, shelter, a breeding ground and other benefits.
Because of their wide range of habitats, oysters make up an important group of organisms that help in controlling marine environments. They form the base of reefs and, through their shell construction, help regulate water temperature, supply shelter and filtering of pollutants. In addition, they are important players in preventing overfishing. Overfishing is a major problem in coastal regions because of overloading of wild oysters with commercial sport fish, such as bluefin tuna and wahoo.
Before getting to know the varieties of oysters, let us first have a brief discussion on what oysters actually are. Oysters come from the cephalopod family, which includes squids, snails and mollusks. They are oval-shaped and are classified into two main subsets: rock oysters and freshwater/saltwater oysters. Rock oysters grow on the ocean floor while freshwater/saltwater oysters grow in fresh water (in some cases, they may also grow in saltwater bodies of water).
Although these marine creatures are widely known, there are still many species to be discovered. The two main subspecies of oysters, rock oysters and freshwater/saltwater oysters, differ in their diet and reproduction system. Rock oysters mainly feed on smaller fish, such as snails, clams, and squids while freshwater/saltwater oysters reproduce by laying eggs in rock crevices or under rocks in their habitat. Although both types of oysters need shells, they eat different types of shells.
Since they play such an important role in marine ecosystem services, it is imperative to protect them. One way to achieve this goal is through the creation of extra-shellfish islands. These islands allow the natural reproduction cycle of indigenous oysters while providing food and shelter for those who wish to breed there. Once established, they can then be protected bycatch law. Other methods include establishing buffer zones around oysters, preventing fishing beyond certain distances, using non-indigenous shellfish farming methods, or even using oyster compost to create more natural habitats for these creatures.
As noted above, breeding takes place in the ocean, but what about the water where the oysters actually come from? If the oysters arrive at a shellfish farm where they are reared and fed, their life will be more sustainable. This is because oysters that arrive in a captive environment are able to be fed with a diet consisting of the commercially available products that are fed to other animals. However, if you are planning to release captive-produced oysters back into the ocean, it is vital that these creatures are carefully monitored. As with the rest of farm-raised oysters, wild-caught Bay oysters should not be allowed to be released into the wild. In fact, releasing wild-caught Bay Oysters can be risky as the local population may react violently.
In conclusion, we have looked at how oysters were farmed and what impact their captivity had on their environment and the marine ecosystem. It is likely that future developments will focus on creating more self-sufficient oyster beds so that these creatures can thrive both in wild and captive settings. However, what is for sure is that we now know more about the early life of oysters and the many different ways that they were eaten. And although the 19th century brought an end to that particular way of eating, we can still learn from the seafood we eat today and continue to care for the environment so that future generations can enjoy delicious oysters.