News

Florida Trend Report Highlights Aquaculture

Aquaculture, the controlled production of seafood, ornamental fish and other aquatic life, is big business in Florida. In 2012, the state’s producers earned $70 million in cash receipts, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture survey. Worldwide, aquaculture is responsible for about half of all seafood consumed, so this emerging sector of Florida agricultural production holds great promise for the future, said Karl Havens, Florida Sea Grant director. To inform the public about this rapidly developing field, Florida Sea Grant chose aquaculture as the subject of its latest special report for the statewide business magazine Florida Trend.

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“Oysterater” Features Cedar Key Oysters

Rowan Jacobsen, author of Geography of Oyster, has been a big name in the world of oysters since writing his book, and has maintained a blog ‘oyster finder’ online giving reviews of oysters. Rowan just opened up a new website, Oysterater, that takes feedback from people to hear what they think about oysters. The new site is to be the most comprehensive listing of oysters in the world giving oyster connoisseurs an opportunity to rate oysters, have favorites and open discussions on any oyster-related topic.

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Leslie Sturmer Recognized with National Award

Leslie Sturmer is rooted in the culture – or should we say “aquaculture” – of Cedar Key. The University of Florida IFAS extension agent works with shellfish harvesters and farmers in the small North Florida Gulf Coast town. I’ve been in aquaculture my whole life,” said Sturmer, “I’ve lived here for 22 years. I’m married to a clam farmer. I’d like to think I provide assistance to the industry.” Last month, Sturmer was honored with the Distinguished Service Award by the U.S. Chapter of the World Aquaculture Society.

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Clam Industry Workshop Hosted by HBOI & UF

A special Clam Industry Workshop, co-hosted by the FAU Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, University of Florida IFAS and Florida Sea Grant, will be held on Tuesday, March 10, 2015 at the HBOI campus in Fort Pierce (for directions, click on Events). The morning session, HABs-Global to Indian River Lagoon, held from 10am to 12:30pm will feature guest speaker Dr. Sandra Shumway, a renowned expert on impacts of harmful algal blooms and biotoxins to shellfish.

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Pine Island Clam Jam Showcases Sunray Venus

Over 700 folks had the opportunity to take home some cultured sunray venus clams—in addition to popular hard clams—during the appropriately titled Pine Island Clam Jam Food and Music Fest that took place January 31 on a 40-acre Green Planet palm nursery near Bokeelia. The weather was great for a day of music, beer, clam chowder and fun hosted by Pure Grown Aquaculture and the Center for Organic and Sustainable Living. A clam farming display, provided by the UF Shellfish Aquaculture Extension Program, was popular with the crowd. Joy Hazell, Lee County Sea Grant agent, also provided local information on

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New Guide Released for Shellfish Growers

A new guide, Information for Shellfish Growers, was recently released by the Interagency Working Group on Aquaculture to help navigate the shellfish aquaculture permit process in the United States. The guide is designed to help shellfish farmers understand the main types of leases, permits, or other forms of authorization needed for a commercial shellfish farm. The guide also includes links to additional sources of information and contacts who can help growers identify the specific requirements for their respective state or region.

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Update on USDA FSA NAP Program

The Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP), reauthorized by the 2014 Farm Bill and administered by the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA), provides financial assistance to growers of noninsurable crops to protect against natural disasters that result in lower yields or crop losses. NAP provides catastrophic level (CAT) coverage based on the amount of loss that exceeds 50% of expected production at 55% of the average market price for the crop.

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Project VENUS Update

During the first year of Project VENUS (Vocational Education Network Using Sunrays), over 65% of the hatcheries in the state received broodstock and a small stipend to assist them in producing sunray venus clam seed. Excessive rainfall over the past winter and spring resulted in lower salinities and may have affected seed production.

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This Year’s Sebastian Clambake a Success

The Sebastian Clambake, billed as a “Lagoon Festival,” celebrated on November 7-9 the area’s special way of life along the Indian River, which has been the life-blood of the community from the beginning. The lagoon has provided its citizens and visitors with recreation, tranquil beauty, and food for generations.

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