Maryland is the only place in the world where the harvest of native oysters is greater than the aquaculture harvest. In fact, more than 58% of the oysters eaten throughout the world are commercially grown. Aquaculture techniques vary widely from floating cages or suspended cages to open water reefs modeled after natural oyster reefs.
In Maryland's recently unveiled Oyster Restoration And Aquaculture Development Plan, 95,524 acres of formerly public oyster bars will be opened up for lease as active aquaculture sites. Permits and fees are required. Maryland is also unveiling a new experimental reef lease program that would allow public schools and non-profits to lease up to 5 acres for demonstrating ecological benefits, research, or education. See MD Permit Process below.
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