Measuring an oyster from a restoration project in Eastern Bay (Credit: NOAA)
New NOAA research found that four mosquito pesticides commonly sprayed in coastal zones in the eastern U.S. pose little risk to juvenile shellfish, a press release reported.
While low doses of the pesticides alone are not harmful to juvenile hard clams and oysters, lower oxygen levels and acidification in coastal waters increase the chemicals’ toxicity. The study suggested that those climate variables should be accounted for when applying pesticides near shellfish habitats.
Hard clam and oyster hauls netted nearly $159 million combined in 2010, according to a NOAA Fisheries estimate. The shellfish are ecologically significant as they filter water and provide a food source to other aquatic animals.
Image: Measuring an oyster from a restoration project in Eastern Bay (Credit: NOAA)