• Big Bend Shellfish Trail

  • Oyster demo project

    Oyster Demonstration Project

    Growers and UF researchers are evaluating the performance of triploid oysters to local conditions on Florida’s west coast.

  • Sunray venus seed can be produced in a hatchery using similar methods as for hard clams.

  • A native species, the sunray venus can be cultured in bottom bags or under bottom nets.

  • Sunray venus exhibit fast growth and can reach market from planting in about a year.

  • The plump meat of the sunray venus has a firm texture and delicate, sweet taste.

  • When cooked, the glossy shell of the sunray venus changes to an attractive peach color.

  • Environmental Benefits #1
  • Environmental Benefits #2
  • Environmental Benefits #3
  • Oyster Culture Topic
  • Industry #1

    The hard clam production process consists of three consecutive stages—hatchery, nursery, and growout to a marketable size.
    Photo by University of Florida IFAS.

  • Industry #2

    Clam farming begins in the hatchery with production of seed. Adult clams are induced to spawn by manipulating water temperatures.
    Photo by Tom Smoyer, HBOI.

  • Industry #3

    In the hatchery, larval clams are reared under controlled conditions in large tanks supplied with filtered seawater.
    Photo by Sean Dowie.

  • Industry #4

    During the hatchery phase, cultured marine microalgae are fed at increasing densities to larvae and post-set clams.
    Photo by Leslie Sturmer.

  • Industry #5

    Post-set clams are maintained in the hatchery until they reach about 1 mm. Over 100,000 seed are held in this downweller.
    Photo by Eric Zamora.

  • Industry #6

    The nursery is an intermediate step, where hatchery-produced seed are reared under semi-controlled conditions in land-based systems, such as these raceways.
    Photo by Eric Zamora.

  • Industry #7

    Another method of land-based nursery culture is the upweller system; some designs place the wellers, or cylinders, in the water.
    Photo by Leslie Sturmer.

  • Industry #8

    Clams are grown to market-size on coastal submerged lands leased from the State of Florida.
    Photo by Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

  • Industry #9

    When clam seed reach about 1/4”, they are stocked in polyester mesh bags and staked to the lease bottom for growout.
    Photo by Leslie Sturmer.

  • Industry #10

    After 15-18 months depending on season planted, littleneck-sized clams are harvested by pulling the bags off the bottom.
    Photo by University of Florida IFAS.

  • Industry #11

    Harvested clams are delivered to a certified shellfish wholesaler where they are prepared for processing and shipping to markets across the country.
    Photo by Eric Zamora.

  • Getting Started
  • Other Projects
  • Shellfish Farm
  • Genetic Stock Improvement
  • Shellfish Aquaculture
  • About Us
  • Water Quality Monitoring
  • Clam Workshops
  • Cedar Key Everlasting
  • Suppliers
  • Extension
  • Economic Impact

    Economic Impact: Output from sales of cultured hard clams in 2012 was assessed at $39M by UF economists.

  • Sunray Venus Clams

    Project VENUS

    Learn more about ongoing activities in this integrated technology transfer project to assist in sunray venus commercial production.

  • Environmental Benefits

    Environmental Benefits: Ecosystem services provided by the clam culture Industry were valued at $99,680 by UF researchers.

  • Oyster Culture

    Oyster Culture

    Fishery declines have spurred renewed interest in oyster culture. DVDs of recent workshops are available.

  • Clam farmers

    UF Gator Good Story

    The net ban and Cedar Key's success in replacing fishing with clam farming is featured as a UF Gator Good story.

The University of Florida (UF) Shellfish Aquaculture Extension Program provides educational, technical, and organizational support to the shellfish aquaculture industry in Florida. In 1995 a position was created within the UF Cooperative Extension Service to assist the emergent industry on Florida’s west coast in these efforts. Since then, the program has expanded to allow for statewide extension activities. This program maintains an affiliation with the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS), UF School of Forest Resources and Conservation’s Program in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, and Florida Sea Grant. In addition, there is a multi-faceted partnership with local governments in coastal communities and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.