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American Oyster

American Oyster
Latin Name

Crassostrea virginica

Group Name


Taxonomy details


The American oyster's habitat stretches from the waters of the Gulf of Mexico to the southern Gulf of the St. Lawrence. The percentage of American oysters in Canadian waters is relatively small with main concentrations found farther south, especially in Chesapeake Bay and off the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Oysters are harvested in the wild and cultivated on leased areas of seabed in the Maritimes.

Species Description

Oysters have hard, rough, oval-shaped shells, typically coloured a reddish-brown or deep purple on the outside, sometimes a little greenish, mixed with grey and white shades. They're smooth and white (sometimes with a bluish tint) on the inside. The oyster's upper valve is flat, while the lower is cupped, creating a very strong seal. American oysters can grow to more than 15 cm in length.

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