I love oysters. I love to eat the little buggers, and I admire their "fix-it" role in ocean ecosystems--consuming at least some of the fruits of our effluent when they eat plankton. I also enjoy looking at them underwater in reefs, and separate when they're malleable and often twisted shapes are visible.
In brief, oysters rock. To show my appreciation and bond with oysters, I have a fantastic little oyster shell (drilled naturally by a predator and smoothed by ocean surf) that I found in Baja California and now wear around my neck on a leather string (right).
So imagine my dismay when I read the first-ever worldwide report on the status of oysters, and it's gloomy. I know that oysters are in trouble in the US, but I don't really know that much about their worldwide status.
A study by the Nature Conservancy says that 85% of the world's oyster reefs are gone. Oyster reefs are one of the most endangered ocean ecosystems in the world. Cry for the missing bivalves.