(This post is part of our blog series that deals with Pearls International’s take on social and environmental responsibility. For more information on how Pearls International gives back, please click here.)
Another week, another Most Wanted! This week’s offender does not usually harm the oysters directly, but causes damage to the oysters’ environment. These crustaceans are huge threats to oyster farmers, particularly those in the food industry.
8) Ghost Shrimp and Mud Shrimp
These varieties of burrowing shrimp are harmful to the ecosystems in which healthy oysters thrive. They create tunnel systems in the sand or mud, disturbing the sediment so consistently that it creates an unhealthy environment. These shrimp actually decrease the level of water in the shallow oyster beds by displacing the water with stirred up sediment. This lifts and exposes oysters closer to the shore to drying wind over time, killing the exposed oysters.
Ghost and Mud Shrimp can actually smother oysters with the amount of sediment that they stir up and also cause a decrease in organic matter in the soil. We don’t hold it against them that they are “ghostly” and “muddy,” but because of their lack of respect for oysters, we give them a Number Eight (#8) on our Ten Most Wanted List.
Stay tuned for more unbelievable oyster threats, leading up to the Number One (#1) enemy of our beloved oysters.