| Review of the ecological effects of dredging in the cultivation and harvest of molluscan shellfish - :3971 | National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)
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Review of the ecological effects of dredging in the cultivation and harvest of molluscan shellfish
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  • Description:
    "This document reviews effects of dredging associated with the cultivation and harvest of molluscan shellfish, as reported in the literature. Dredges can disturb the structure of the substrate, alter the biological community, and modify sediment biogeochemistry. The rate of recovery subsequent to dredging varies with habitat and sediment type, composition of the resident biological assemblage, and hydrodynamic attributes of the environment. Our goal is to evaluate mechanical and hydraulic dredge harvesting of cultivated oysters and clams from nearshore, leased grounds located primarily along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts of the United States. In nearshore coastal areas where aquacultural shellfish cultivation is conducted, disturbance from natural processes is frequent, and rapidly growing benthic organisms with short generation times are common. Typically, the duration and spatial extent of shellfish dredging associated with cultivation are limited in scale. These factors, along with the use of sound practices, often mitigate impacts and accelerate ecological recovery after shellfish dredging. Based on our review of the published literature, the physical, biological, and chemical effects of shellfish dredging within the inshore coastal zone are generally short-lived, with the rate of recovery varying among studies"--Abstract.

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