Oyster aquaculture, like any agriculture operation, has inherent risks with perils beyond growers’ control. However, coastal waters present challenges for oyster farmers in the form of tropical storms and hurricanes. Extreme conditions associated with these events can result in severe impacts to oyster farms. The perpetual threat of hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico emphasizes the importance of business planning and storm preparedness as an essential part of any oyster culture operation. Growers who have developed storm plans have a better chance of minimizing losses, making sound decisions before a storm, and increasing chances for rapid recovery after the storm.
This series of fact sheets focuses on storm plan development, pre-storm preparations, and post-storm recovery. Specific information pertaining to water-based operations for different oyster culture methods (adjustable long-lines, floating cages, floating bags), land-based operations (hatchery, nursery, processing facilities), and workboats can assist oyster growers in developing individualized storm plans to be better prepared for the hurricane season.