A formal stock assessment is not conducted in most parts of the range. Stock is most often assessed by areal mapping of oyster reefs and by examination of oyster density and health in those reef systems (Beck, et al. 2011; Baggett, et al 2014; Campbell, 2012).
Scientific advice is limited and region specific (Campbell, 2012). It usually consists of recommendations on min size, closed areas and seasons.
Reference points are not used as there are no analytic assessments for this species through most of it’s range.
Oysters are stable and increasing in the Gulf of Mexico due to regulation and restoration efforts (Campbell, 2012). In other portions of it’s range abundance is in decline (Beck, et al. 2011 & Baggett, et al 2014). Overall stock status is thought to be low: due to harvest, habitat loss, and disease. Oysters are extirpated in areas of the Mid-Atlantic and New England.
Gulf of Mexico oysters appear to be improving, while oysters on the Atlantic coast are in decline(Beck, et al. 2011; Baggett, et al 2014; Campbell, 2012). There is some improvement, however in the VA portion of the Chesapeake Bay (VIMS, 2008)