"It Could Be a Big Industry": Regimes of Value and the Production of Locality Among Oyster Farmers in Southern Maryland Open Access
People engaged in small-scale and commercial oyster aquaculture in Southern Maryland negotiate bundled regimes of value in creating a sense of locality through their interactions with oysters. These regimes of value are oysters as food, oysters as agents of ecological restoration, and oysters as a signifier of cultural heritage. The degree to which each regime is valued in relation to the others is highly variable between individuals and contexts. The sense of locality that they produce is constructed against the backdrop of perceived failures of government to adequately protect the resources of the Chesapeake Bay and the livelihoods that depend upon it. Oyster aquaculture has become seen as a way to sustainably revitalize Maryland's oyster industry while directly contributing to the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay's ecosystems.
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