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U.S. Mid-Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico Oyster Dredge

Current Classification on the 2017 LOF

Category III
Estimated Number of Participants 7,000
Target Species Eastern oyster
Applicable Take Reduction Plans None
Observer Coverage N/A
Marine Mammal Species/Stocks Killed or Injured None Documented

^ Number of participants estimates are based on state and federal fisheries permit data.  The estimated number of participants is expressed in terms of the number of active participants in the fishery, when possible.  If this information is not available, the estimated number of vessels or persons licensed for a particular fishery is provided.  If no recent information is available on the number of participants, then the number from the most recent LOF is used.  NMFS acknowledges that, in some cases, these estimations may be inflating actual effort.  

*Observer coverage levels include the latest information reported in the most current final Stock Assessment Report (SAR)

1Indicates the stock or species is driving the classification of the fishery 

Note: Current classification based on final LOF, no proposed changes are reflected in this table.

Basis for Current Classification

There are no documented marine mammal interactions.


Fall to spring

Gear Description

Steel frame with twine or steel bag attached used to harvest oysters.


“Throughout its range, the eastern oyster is not a federally managed fishery. It is permit­requiring, often involving the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as the lead review agency, with various other federal agencies (typically NMFS and the U.S. Fish and  Wildlife Service) providing resource protection recommendations. The Essential Fish Habitat consultation requirements of the Magnuson­Stevens Act and the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act are intended to give each of the above listed federal resource agencies a mechanism to conserve and protect oyster reef habitat” (NMFS 2007). This fishery is also managed by the Gulf of Mexico Oyster Fishery FMP.


Historical Information

Original Category (Year added to the LOF) III (1989)
Original Number of Participants 7,000
Basis for Original Classification There are no documented marine mammal interactions
Past Names "Mid­Atlantic oyster" (until 1994)
Species/stocks historically documented as killed or injured (but not currently on the list) N/A


Timeline of Changes

  • Renamed from "Mid­Atlantic oyster" to “US Mid­Atlantic/Gulf of Mexico Oyster Dredge” to include the Gulf of Mexico oyster fishery



NOAA, NMFS. 2007. Status Review of the Eastern Oyster (Crassostrea virginica), NMFS-F/SPO-88 (March 2007) (

NOAA, Gulf States Marine Fishery Commission. 2012. The Oyster Fishery of  the Gulf of Mexico United States: A Fisheries Management Plan- 2012 Revision (Ocean Spring, MA, March 2012) (

Updated December 14, 2016