Annapolis Seafood Market, a trusted distributor of high-quality seafood products to the Annapolis area, has partnered with the Oyster Recovery Partnership (ORP) to collect used oyster shells — a limited natural resource — from their stores and participating restaurants to help promote the expansion of oyster beds in the Chesapeake Bay. As part of their program, Annapolis Seafood Market will display educational signage inside each store for their customers to learn how they can participate in this important recycling effort.

“Partnering with Annapolis Seafood Market is a fantastic opportunity as it allows us to leverage their existing relationships and delivery routes to maximize the number of shells collected and expand our reach,” said Stephan Abel, Executive Director for the Oyster Recovery Partnership. “To meet our restoration goals, it is critical that a greater number of shells be recycled for reseeding and we hope this alliance will encourage increased participation in the coming year.”

Not only critical to the Bay’s fishing industry, mature oysters contribute to the health and cleanliness of the water by filtering over 50 gallons per day per oyster. By collecting used shells, the Oyster Recovery Partnership is able to transport them to the Horn Point Lab Oyster Hatchery in Cambridge, MD to be reseeded with spat (baby oysters) in an effort to help repopulate the Bay’s oyster population which has been drastically reduced in the last 100 years due to overfishing and other environmental causes.

Founded in 1969, the Annapolis Seafood Market (http://www.aircrabusa.com) is a member of a family of food service companies and has demonstrated a strong commitment to sourcing sustainable, local seafood from the Chesapeake Bay. The company’s vision is focused on “providing ultimate happiness for customers through quality products and personalized service.” Annapolis Seafood Market was voted among the “Best Places to Buy Seafood” in 2011 by Washingtonian Magazine and boasts three markets: Annapolis, Edgewater, and Severna Park, Maryland.

“We are extremely excited to begin working with the Oyster Recovery Partnership,” said Alex Torres, Director of Operations for Annapolis Seafood Market. “Our efforts can extend the educational outreach of this initiative while contributing to the Chesapeake Bay’s bounty of seafood. Our commitment to the highest quality locally-sourced product ties in perfectly with the Oyster Recovery Partnership mission.”

This is the fourth seafood distributor partnering with the Oyster Recovery Partnership. The other distributors include JJ McDonnell, Pro Fish Ltd. and Congressional Seafood Co. ORP is seeking additional seafood distributor partnerships to help expand the Alliance and to collect needed oyster shell, a limited natural resource crucial to restoring the State’s oyster population.

How it Works

Annapolis Seafood Market utilizes five-gallon buckets at each of their locations to collect used oyster shells. During their normal delivery routes, drivers drop the empty buckets, pick up the filled ones then return them to Annapolis Seafood Market’s Distribution Center in Annapolis where they are transferred to a 400-bushel shell collection container. ORP and its partners collect the shells weekly and transport them to the Horn Point Oyster Hatchery near Cambridge, Maryland where they begin the drying and aging process. Nearly 100 restaurants and catering companies currently participate in the Shell Recycling Alliance.

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