A new oyster war – Rich homeowners vs. working-class watermen

Oystermen, pirates and police clashed violently more than a century ago over who could collect the Chesapeake Bay’s tasty and lucrative oysters. As the shellfish makes a comeback, a modern-day oyster war is brewing, this time between wealthy waterfront property owners and working-class fishermen. Over the past five years, oyster production has doubled on the East Coast, driven by new farming methods, cleaner water and Americans’ growing taste for orders on the half shell. The resurgence has led to unprecedented resistance from coastal Virginians who want to maintain picturesque views from their waterfront homes and has fueled a debate over access to public waterways. “These people can’t have it all,” said Chris Ludford, an oysterman in Virginia Beach who sells to nearby farm-to-table restaurants. Ludford said he faces fierce pushback along a Chesapeake Bay tributary from people with “a $2,000 painting in their house of some old bearded oysterman tonging oysters. “But they don’t want to look out their window and see the real thing,” he said. click here to read the story 14:15