This site covers a period of award by the Virginia Oyster Reef Heritage Foundation (VORHF) to the investigators from May 2013 through September 2014.
The website is structured as follows:
- INTRODUCTION section outlines the major questions to be addressed and status of knowledge at the initiation of the project, with a brief history of data collection and data archives supporting the current project.
- SURVEY DESIGN and FIELD METHODS explain how the data were collected and analyzed.
- POPULATION ESTIMATES and SHELL present the summary results of our analysis. The volume of material generated by this project necessitates its presentation herein in summary form.
- OYSTER BIOMASS AND SHELL TOOL presents a restoration and/or fishery management tool in the form of an EXCEL file that allows user input of field observations with output in terms of critical oyster biomass and shell production/loss functions to evaluate management actions.
- RESEARCH NEEDS briefly outlines future research possibilities.
It is important to note that this site is not the entire product of the VORHF support. A future portal for access to the entire historical oyster database for Virginia will be developed. Much of the data presented on the population estimates and habitat pages are also presented at the level of the individual reef at the VOSARA (Virginia Oyster Stock Assessment and Replenishment Archive) site. At the VOSARA site the user can select a reef location, briefly review methods that are addressed in greater detail in this text, view graphic summaries of long-term data sets by oyster size class (young of the year (YOY or spat > 35mm), submarket (≥ 35mm or <76mm length, and market ≥76 mm length), shell volume by type (brown exposed shell or black buried shell) including history of shell replenishment (planting), and the history of harvest including permitted gear type. Site users are encouraged to visit either the summary or specific site presentation.
We encourage feedback on the methods, data content, analysis and presentation formats. The VORHF site, in conjunction with the VOSARA web site, present a comprehensive status report for the Virginia Public Oyster Resource from 1993 through 2013.