Cage after cage, oysters destined for a sprinkling of lemon juice and a delighted diner are pulled from the majestic Chesapeake Bay, where 20 years ago they had nearly disappeared.
“Those will be at the restaurants tomorrow,” says Tal Petty, 55, an oysterman who has worked these waters for 40 years.
Today, the mollusk’s reintroduction is playing a vital role in the health of the bay and Petty is quick to point out the dual ecological and gastronomical benefits.
In recent summers, Petty says, he could not see much in the water at his farm in southeastern Maryland, because of a thick algae that thrived in the region’s sweltering summers.
But last year “all summer long, I was able to see the bottom, which means the oysters were filtering and cleaning,” he said, talking to AFP at a cove near the small community of Hollywood.