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Enteric Pathogens in
Molluscan Shellfish in Puerto Rico:
An Integrated Approach.
One of the project goals is to educate Puerto Rican fisherman to farm their own oysters and build a commercial enterprise while taking care of their environment and natural resources. Puerto Rico has an abundance of mangroves and oysters (Crassostrea rhizophorae) but these precious animals are becoming scarce. Over-harvesting and pollution have decreased populations. In addition, fecal contamination places a risk of illness to consumers eating oysters harvested from these coastal areas.
Oysters have been farmed for thousands of years. Farming
oysters provides the farmer with a source of income, but also has beneficial
environmental value. Oysters filter the water column, and convert nutrients
entering the surface waters in oyster biomass. Oyster farming in a sustainable manner
also has broader local economic value. If successful, it can create jobs and
boast the local economy.
The project proposes different methods for fisherman to start their own oyster farms and provides recommendations for grower cooperation with the government as they work to monitor oyster growing and harvesting areas. If these initiatives are implemented more likely local economies will prosper and the country’s natural resources, ocean water and habitats could be preserved.