Swan Island

Oyster Sanctuary construction is one of the strategies North Caroline implements in the effort to protect and restore oyster population in the state. At the time of this report the state’s harvest was 15-20 percent of the historic peak harvest. The decline is due to overharvesting, habitat loss, natural disaster, disease and poor water quality.

Oyster sanctuaries have been and are continuing to be constructed throughout NC’s sounds. The sanctuaries are built to provide hard surfaces for baby oysters, or spat, to attach to and grow on. They are also strategically placed to maximize the spat landing within the sanctuary. The sanctuaries are usually not open to shellfish harvest, however hook-and-line fishing is often allowed.

The 25 acre Swan Island Oyster Sanctuary is a Coastal Federation project which was completed with funds from the NOAA Restoration Center and the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries.