The History and Literature of America's Oysters

United States National Marine Fisheries Service (1996) The History and Literature of America's Oysters. Marine Fisheries Review, 58(4), p. 79.

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Historically, America's use and enjoyment of the oyster extend far back into prehistoric times. The Native Americans often utilized oysters, more intensively in some areas than in others, and, at least in some areas of the Caribbean and Pacific coast, the invading Spanish sought oysters as eagerly as they did gold-but for the pearls. That was the pearl oyster, Pinctada sp., and signs of its local overexploitation were recorded early in the 16th century. During the 1800's, use of the eastern oyster grew phenomenally and, for a time, it outranked beef as a source of protein in some parts of the nation. Social events grew up around it, as it became an important aspect of culture and myth. Eventually, research on the oyster began to blossom, and scientific literature on the various species likewise bloomed-to the extent that when the late Paul Galtsoff wrote his classic treatise "The American oyster Crassostrea virginica Gmelin" in 1954, he reported compiling an extensive bibliography of over 6,000 subject and author cards on oysters and related subjects which he deposited in the library of the Woods Hole Laboratory of the Bureau of Commercial Fisheries (now NMFS). That large report, volume 64 (480 pages) of the agency's Fishery Bulletin, was a bargain at $2.75, and it has been a standard reference ever since. But the research and the attendant literature have grown greatly since Galtsoff's work was published, and now that has been thoroughly updated.

Item Type: Article
Title: The History and Literature of America's Oysters
Corporate Creator/Author: United States National Marine Fisheries Service
Refereed: Yes
Journal or Publication Title: Marine Fisheries Review
Volume: 58
Number: 4
Page Range: p. 79
Date: 1996
ISSN: 0090-1830
Issuing Agency: United States National Marine Fisheries Service
Subjects: Biology
Item ID: 9837
Depositing User: Patti M. Marraro
Date Deposited: 16 Aug 2012 14:20
Last Modified: 16 Aug 2012 14:20

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