Crab Pots to Oyster Reefs

CARTERET COUNTY - Last year, the crab pots put in the waters along our Eastern Carolina coast were covered in concrete and clean of marine life.  Dr. Joel Fodrie of UNC Marine Sciences teamed up with two local fisherman, David "Clammerhead" Cessna and Adam Tyler, to answer the question if oysters could grow on crab pots.

"What we found is the shallowest pots tend to have the most oysters and some of the deeper pots have larger oysters," said Dr. Fodrie.

The structure also attracts other species of marine life, which for local fisherman, creates nothing but benefits.

"Little fish attract big fish.  Bigger fish attract fishermen.  Fishermen spend money.  Spending money helps the economy.  It's a win-win-win. You can't quit winning on this one," said Cessna.

In a year's time, researchers have seen an increase in population of 15-20 species including sheepshead and stone crab.

The measuring, weighing and counting of oysters has brought together two types of marine experts who normally don't see eye to eye.

"We're learning a lot about different ways to raise oysters and grow things and maybe do things better than what we've done in the past to help clean up the water," said Tyler.

The experiment is expected to continue for another two years.

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