Knife maker Toadfish commits a percentage of sales to rebuilding East and Gulf Coast oyster beds.
Oysters: They’re great on the half-shell, grilled and fried, but regardless of the preparation you prefer, one thing you definitely need is a good shucking knife. And wouldn't it be nice if that shucking knife also did something The new Put Em’Back oyster knife, from Charleston, South Carolina-based Toadfish Outfitters, isn't just designed for ease of use, it also helps replenish oyster beds with each purchase.
For every knife sold, Toadfish has committed to re-nourish 10 square feet of oyster habitat through its partnerships with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources Oyster Shell Recycling Program and Oyster Restoration and Enhancement Program (SCORE). While this cause is certainly enough reason to consider the Put Em’Back, the knife is also made from recycled materials—its handle from recycled plastic bottles.
"We are a ‘lead-by-example’ friend of the coast," says Toadfish founder Casey Davidson. "And [we] strive to have a positive impact on water quality to help ensure sustainable marine ecosystems for generations to come. Oysters provide a natural filtration system for our waterways. The more oysters we put back the cleaner and healthier our coastal waters become.”
Aside from being a sought-after appetizer, oysters and the massive reefs they form are also the foundation of a healthy and resilient coastal ecosystem. But they've been in trouble recently. Globally, an estimated 85 percent of oyster reefs have disappeared, more than any other marine habitat. Yet recent projects, including those in and around the Gulf, show that large scale restoration can create man-made oyster reefs that duplicate many of the benefits of natural reefs. Besides serving as breeding grounds for delicious seafood, oyster beds also protect shorelines by absorbing and reducing wave energy by as much as 93 percent, which helps decrease coastal erosion, flooding, and costly damage to private property and public infrastructure. And any help those oyster beds can get is welcome.