The number of oyster beds in Chesapeake Bay is dwindling. What affect would this have on the human community?
Crassostrea virginica which are the native oysters in Chesapeake bay, have been overfished to almost the point of extinction. In the 1880's there were billions of oysters with watermen harvesting 25 million bushels annually. Now, the harvest is less than 200,000 bushels per year. Five years ago, the Army Corps of Engineers made a large artificial reef and it has shown promising results, as the numbers of oysters has been steadily increasing. If the oyster harvest increases, the human community will be affected as watermen will have a restored source of income, as for the past twenty years, the harvest has been disappointing. Overfishing and disease were the main culprits. Oysters are filter feeders and thus, if oysters increase, the water quality will improve, which reflects the largest affect of dwindling oyster beds on the human community.
In my opinion, the impact that this would have on the human community is relatively small (for the overall community). However, it would probably have a great impact on a small part of the community.
For most people, it will not matter if the Chesapeake's oysters disappear. They will get oysters from somewhere else or they will go without. Even if they have to go without, it will not really affect many people very much.
But there are some people who will be hit hard by this. These are the people who make their living from the Chesapeake oysters. People who rely on harvesting these oysters will have their livelihoods destroyed and will have a hard time adjusting and finding new ways of life.