ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland lawmakers have passed a "No Shell Left Behind" oyster recycling bill.
The bill provides a dollar a bushel tax credit for recycled oyster shells, up to $750 a year. Supporters hope the credit will increase the supply of the empty bivalves needed by hatcheries.
The head of the Oyster Recovery Partnership testified on behalf of the bill during the General Assembly session, which ended Monday. The group organizes a recycling effort involving restaurants, wholesalers and others. The shells are needed for restoration efforts because young oysters raised in hatcheries prefer to attach to adult oyster shells, which are in short supply. Each adult shell can host up to 10 young oysters.
Oyster Recovery Partnership Executive Director Stephan Abel says no shell should end up in a landfill.
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