Pilot Clam Crop Insurance Program Dropped in Florida

Since 2000, the Cultivated Clam Crop Insurance Program has been available for aquaculturists in selected counties in Florida, South Carolina, Virginia, and Massachusetts. During this time, the pilot program has undergone several comprehensive reviews. Based on results of the most recent evaluation, the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation terminated the program for the 2015 and subsequent crop years in Florida. Continue reading

Study on Effects of Mechanical Harvesting Completed

The final report of an Aquaculture Review Council-supported project evaluating alternative farming technology for the sunray venus clam was submitted to the DACS Division of Aquaculture. An 80% increase in sunray venus production was obtained using bottom plants versus bottom bags. Further, the culture period to reach a potential market size of ~2” shell length can be reduced by 15-25% using the bottom plant method. Continue reading

Dialogue with Shellfish Culture Industry

During August through October, workshops were held with shellfish growers around the state to provide information on recent and ongoing applied projects being conducted by the UF IFAS Shellfish Aquaculture Research and Extension Program. Continue reading

2013 Census of Aquaculture Released by USDA

The 2013 Census of Aquaculture was recently released by the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The report provides value of sales for a variety of aquaculture products by type (e.g., mollusks) and species. Due to recent advances in the industry, Florida ranked fourth in the nation in sales value of molluscan shellfish products ($19.6 million), falling behind Washington ($149.3 million), Virginia ($41.5 million), and Connecticut ($28.3 million). Continue reading

Sunray Venus Clams on the JSR Cover

Over the past seven years, the culture and market potential of the sunray venus clam has been examined. The existence of a latent market and potential growth rate of this native bivalve made it a logical choice to diversify the Florida hard clam industry. To increase awareness of this new culture species, sunray venus clams have been featured at culinary demonstrations, consumer acceptance trials, and seafood shows. Continue reading

Welcome Dr. Huiping Yang to UF!

On July 1, Dr. Huiping Yang joins the University of Florida as an Assistant Professor of Molluscan Shellfish Aquaculture. Dr. Yang will be located in Gainesville with the SFRC Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences Program, and will also work at culture facilities in Cedar Key. Continue reading

Northeast Florida Oyster Research

Oyster habitat

An informal meeting was initiated by the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve at Ponte Vedra Beach on May 30th to begin a dialogue on oyster research needs and expectations in northwest Florida. The objectives of the meeting were to allow representatives from state agencies, academia, and others interested in prioritizing research questions, aligning everyone’s expertise and interests with priority research questions, and discussing the potential formation of a regional oyster working group and/or a regular symposium. Continue reading

Clam Research Projects Funded for 2014-15

FL ARC

An annual responsibility of the Aquaculture Review Council (ARC) is to evaluate and rank research projects that have been submitted to the Council through a formal solicitation process. The Council recommended 10 selected projects for funding consideration in the fiscal year 2014-15. Recently, the DACS Division of Aquaculture announced that the Governor included $755,820 in his budget to support these projects, which will enhance farm productivity, technology, job creation and sales. Two of these projects address research priorities identified by the Council for clam culture. Continue reading

Project VENUS Gets Underway

The growth of the Florida shellfish culture industry is a dramatic success story. However, the industry is built on a single clam species—the hard clam. Development of alternative culture species and farming technology represents an important gain over the present reliance on a single species crop. During the past seven years, researchers at UF IFAS and Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University (HBOI-FAU) supported by Florida Sea Grant have evaluated the culture and market potential of the sunray venus clam, an attractive native clam. Consumer acceptance and marketing studies have found that these clams rate highly as a potential addition to existing product lines and suggest strong market demand exists. Continue reading

Oyster Culture Workshops – DVDs Available

Co-hosted by the UF Shellfish Aquaculture Extension Program and DACS Division of Aquaculture, three workshops have been held to provide current information about oyster aquaculture. Topics introduced in the first set of workshops were an overview of U.S. East Coast intensive oyster culture operations and Florida’s experiences; rules of the road—conversion of shellfish aquaculture leases to water column usage, navigational marking requirements, BMPs pertaining to seed sources, and public health regulations for oyster harvesting and processing; and, a look at off-bottom oyster farming gear and methods being developed by Auburn University for the northern Gulf of Mexico. Continue reading