Pamlico Sound Oyster Sanctuary work nearing completion

Jul 3, 2019

Credit North Carolina Coastal Federation

The final phase of a Pamlico Sound oyster sanctuary is expected to be completed next week. Work on a 40-acre oyster reef in Pamlico Sound got underway in the spring of 2017. Each spring and summer since work has been done to strategically place thousands of tons of limestone marl and granite to build new oyster habitat. The Swan Island Oyster Sanctuary is open to hook and line fishing but not open to harvest. A press release from the North Carolina Coastal Federation says when oysters at the sanctuary reach maturity, they repopulate, sending baby oysters to nearby harvested reefs. They also seed cultch planted reefs built by the Division of Marine Fisheries, which can be harvested when oysters reach the legal size of 3 inches. When this project is concluded, Marine Fisheries will work with the Coastal Federation to identify locations for future restoration efforts.