Oyster Farming Demonstration Project

Application of Triploidy to the Emergent Florida West Coast Industry

This project allows for large-scale demonstration and evaluation of an oyster breeding process to local conditions on Florida’s west coast by oyster growers. The objectives are two-fold:

  1. Document production performance, assess health, and evaluate the quality (sensory characteristics) of diploid (2N) and triploid (3N) oysters under commercial conditions, and
  2. Quantify the effects of different culture methods, salinity regimes, and seasonal harvests.

SCOPE OF WORK: Oysters from two ploidy types (triploids – 3N and diploids – 2N) and two seasonal spawns (spring and fall) are being provided to certified growers, who have obtained approval from DACS to culture oysters on their shellfish aquaculture leases. Eleven  growers in four west coast counties (Charlotte, Franklin, Levy, and Wakulla) are using a variety of culture systems (floating bags, bottom cages, and adjustable lone lines), which allows for evaluation of site and gear interaction on ploidy type. University of Florida (UF) faculty are also culturing oysters at their research lease off Cedar Key to document growth and survival and evaluate gear types, stocking densities, and antifouling coatings.


  • Leslie Sturmer, University of Florida (UF)/IFAS Extension, Florida Sea Grant
  • Chuck Adams and Rusty Dames, UF/IFAS Florida Sea Grant, Food Resource and Economics
  • Charles Sims, UF/IFAS Food Science and Human Nutrition Department
  • Huiping Yang, UF/IFAS SFRC, Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
  • Susan Laramore, Florida Atlantic University, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute
  • Cedar Key Aquaculture Association and oyster growers located in several counties

TIME PERIOD: 2016–2017  FUNDED BY: NOAA National Sea Grant Aquaculture Technology Transfer


Seed Provided to Growers in July
Seed Provided to Growers in July

July 27, 2016

Single-set triploid oyster seed were produced by crossing Cedar Key stocks with sperm from tetraploid stocks maintained at Louisiana Sea Grant’s oyster hatchery. Read more

UF Plants Seeds in August
UF Plants Seed in August

September 14, 2016

Triploid and diploid oyster stocks were also planted by UF at their experimental lease located within the Dog Island Lease Area off Cedar Key on August 4.
Read more

Hurricanes Impact Oyster Trials
Hurricanes Impact Oyster Trials

October 7, 2016

After meandering around the Gulf of Mexico as a tropical depression, Hurricane Hermine gathered steam and headed straight for the Big Bend coast on September 2. Read more

UF Oyster Growout Study Initiated
UF Oyster Growout Study Initiated

November 1, 2016

This article summarizes the growth of diploid (2N) and triploid (3N) oysters cultured at the UF experimental lease within the Dog Island Lease Area near Cedar Key. Read more

Financial Characteristics and Risks
Financial Characteristics and Risks

January 2017

Another component of the Oyster Culture Demonstration Project is to document economic costs and benefits associated with diploid versus triploid oyster production along the west coast of Florida. Read more

Sampling UF Field Trials
Sampling UF Field Trials

February 2017

A similar number of oysters provided to project participants were also cultured at the UF experimental lease off Cedar Key so that growth and survival could be documented bimonthly during growout. Read more

Harvesting Growers’ Field Trials

March 2017

Ten growers in four west coast counties participating in this project received oyster seed (2500 of each ploidy type, 20-22 mm in shell height) during July 2016 to grow on their leases. Read more

Harvesting UF Field Trials

April 2017

Six months after seed oysters (average 25 mm in shell height) were stocked into 14 mm mesh Vexar bags (October 2016), they were harvested in April 2017 (12 months from spawn). Read more

Next Crop of Seed Distributed

April 2017

To quantify the effects of seasonal harvests on ploidy type, several spawns using tetraploid oysters held from the spring 2016 spawn were attempted in the fall. Read more

Consumer Evaluation of Oysters

May 2017

Oysters typically acquire their flavor from their growing environment and are frequently named after their harvest location. Read more

New UF Growout Study Initiated

June 2017

The second phase of the demonstration project evaluates the performance of diploid and triploid oysters planted in early spring. Read more