Who Killed Crassostrea virginica : The Fall and Rise of Chesapeake Bay Oysters

Fincham, Michael W . 2011 . UM-SG-DV-2011-01 . Maryland Sea Grant . $24.95 .


The Chesapeake was once home to the richest oyster grounds in the world. The native oyster, Crassostrea virginica, built massive reefs and filtered vast reaches of the Bay, removing algae and sediment. Now those reefs are gone. The historic fishery is a mere shadow.

What happened? Who killed the Bay's native oysters?

This hour-long documentary sets out to answer that question. Produced, written, and directed by veteran filmmaker Michael W. Fincham, the film details both the poignant destruction of a fabled fishery and the prolonged scientific inquiry into the origins of a killer parasite.

The film asks whether we can bring the oyster back, and whether we can save both the oyster reefs and the oystermen. It peers toward a future where the Bay's historic oyster grounds may shrink to low-salinity areas where disease does not dominate.

The film has been broadcast on Maryland Public Television as part of their April Chesapeake Bay Week programming in 2013, 2012 and 2011. In 2011, the film was shown at the RVA Environmental Film Festival in Richmond, Virginia, and the Annapolis Green Film Festival. In 2010, the film was previewed at DC Environmental Film Festival and at the Annapolis Maritime Museum.


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