North Carolina has been working hard to reduce its mountain oyster population, but the problem is getting worse.
The state’s oyster farms are experiencing a “critical shortage” of oysters, according to a new report.
The report, which analyzed data from a handful of state agencies, was issued Wednesday by the North Carolina Marine Resources Commission, a state agency tasked with monitoring and protecting the oyster industry.
In a statement, the agency said the report found that “the state is currently facing a critical shortage of oyster species.”
The state estimates that it’s currently producing enough oysters to support about 100,000 people.
But the shortage is expected to grow in coming years, according the report.
It’s likely that the state’s farms will experience a significant drop in their production over the next two years, the report said.
The study also found that there are “significant” environmental impacts related to the mountain oysts that are affecting both the state and nearby communities.
The problem is so serious that the commission is urging the state to “take steps to address the problem in a cost-effective manner,” the statement read.
The issue has been a major headache for the state.
North Carolina is one of the top states for oyster production, but it has a long history of poor land management.
In the 1970s, farmers planted mountains of oysters on the coastal plain of Cape Hatteras, a peninsula that’s been an oyster farm since 1845.
It was a lucrative business that made it hard to sustain.
In 2009, a massive wildfire forced the closure of the entire oyster farming operation in North Carolina.