Thursday, September 5, 2013
Drakes Bay Oyster Co. workers sort freshly harvested oysters on September 4, 2013 in Inverness, California. Oyster farmer Kevin Lunny suffered another setback in his fight with the U.S. Park Service to renew the lease for his oyster farm that operates on Drakes Estero. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against an injunction sought by Lunny to stay in business following former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's decision to not issue a new operational permit and extend the lease of the land for the oyster company. The Park Service and conservationists argue that Lunny's operations are destroying eelgrass beds, and his farm is too close to the area used by harbor seals for reproducing. Lunny reportedly responds that his farm is 'the epitome of sustainable food production,' and oysters have improved the water quality by filtering out particulate matter as they feed and were helping the eelgrass to flourish since the early 90's. Drakes Bay Oyster Co. produces over 300,000 oysters and about one million Manila clams each year, reportedly, 85 percent of shellfish grown in Marin County.
© The Seattle Times Company