OYSTER is a member of the bivalve class of MOLLUSCS. Its soft body is protected by 2 halves (valves) of a hard, rough shell that usually attaches to a rock or other hard surface along the COAST. It feeds by filtering algae (see SEAWEED) from seawater and thus can be affected by water-borne toxins (see HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOMS). At least 4 species of oysters are found in BC. The Olympia oyster (Ostrea conchaphila), the only native species, has become uncommon in most areas, probably because of...

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