MD oyster population, reproduction up for 2nd year

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland's Department of Natural Resources says the state's oyster population and reproduction rates are up again.

Fall oyster survey results released Wednesday show increases for the second straight year. The survey also found that Dermo and MSX, the two diseases that have decimated Maryland oysters, remained far below long-term averages.

DNR Secretary John Griffin credited the increase in part to survival among the large number of oysters hatched in 2010. Griffin says the bay's oyster population remains at less than 1 percent of historic levels, but the increase is encouraging because oysters are filter feeders that help improve water quality.

The survey found a 93 percent survival rate in samples. DNR officials say oysters may be becoming more resistant to diseases, helped by the establishment of oyster sanctuaries.

©2016 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.