There used to be a large oyster population off the coast of Rhode Island and in the Narragansett Bay. However, these populations were a major target for fisheries in from the mid 19th century through the 1950s. A combination of pollution, the 1938 hurricane, and fishers made the population sink into a decline. It is showing signs of returning but is not as strong as it once was. The Gulf Coast still has roughly half its oyster habitat making it home to large oyster populations to this day. However, after the Gulf oil spill it is hard to say whether it will be the most populous oyster habitat for long.
According to this page, 70% of oysters consumed in the United States come from the Gulf of Mexico region. The U.S. marine aquaculture industry’s largest sector is the molluscan shellfish culture, which consists of mussels, oysters, and clams. The industry comprises two-thirds of the nation’s total marine aquaculture production.
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