Oyster GROUP PAGE

Pacific and eastern oysters may originate from different parts of the world, but they have both been farmed in the United States since the 1800s. The eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica) — also called Atlantic oyster or Virginia oyster — is a species of true oyster native to the eastern seaboard and Gulf of Mexico coast of North America. The Pacific oyster — also called the Japanese oyster or Miyagi oyster (Crassostrea gigas) — is native to the Pacific coast of Asia. It has become an introduced species in North America, Australia, Europe, and New Zealand. Pacific oysters generate an estimated $84 million industry on the Pacific coast alone. In the United States, oyster farming makes up a large portion of our marine aquaculture.

Pacific Oyster

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Pacific Oyster

While the Pacific oyster is just one species of oyster cultured in the United States, it has become an $84 million industry on the Pacific coast alone. There are also some established wild populations that are commercially harvested. While it is native to Japan, the Pacific oyster is farmed throughout the world. This hardy species can withstand wide environmental variations which has helped Pacific oyster farming to thrive.

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Eastern Oyster

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Eastern Oyster

Eastern oyster aquaculture brings in millions of dollars every year. Culture of this species took off more than a hundred years ago to enhance over harvested wild populations. Oysters naturally improve their local environment. Since they are suspension feeders, they get their nutrients from microscopic algae suspended in the water column. Because of this, they are highly efficient at removing excess nutrients from the water, contributing to a high level of water quality in the surrounding area.

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