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Scientific Conclusions That Can Be Drawn
Pages 67-70

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From page 67...
... One study was conducted in which sediment cores were taken in eelgrass as a function of distance away from oyster culture racks in Drakes Estero and also in nearby Estero de Limantour, which lacks oyster culture. No enhancement of sediment organics and no reduction in oxygen content of sediments were detectable near the culture racks or in Drakes Estero as compared to Estero de Limantour, indicating a lack of detectable negative impacts of oyster biodeposition, probably because of relatively low oyster stocking densities and high tidal flushing, which disperses the deposits.
From page 68...
... The only study done of fishes of Drakes Estero was unable to detect significant differences in fish abundance, species diversity, or community composition between eelgrass fishes of Drakes Estero at varying distances from culture racks or between Drakes Estero and the Estero de Limantour, which has no oyster culture operation. There is some indication that the guild of fishes typically associated with hard substrates may be locally enhanced around culture racks, driven largely by response of one species, the kelp surfperch.
From page 69...
... Past importation of nonnative oysters at Drakes Estero is associated with the unintentional introduction of a nonnative haplosporidian oyster disease and a salt marsh snail, Batillaria attramentaria, whose introduction has had locally limited detrimental effects on the native marsh snail. However, the current mariculture practice of importing only larvae or seed from hatcheries practicing High Health Programs of inspections carries low risk of future new introductions of exotic species into Drakes Estero.
From page 70...
... and value of ecological services (on the order of $20 million to $30 million per year)

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