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  • 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
  • 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.

For more information about the Florida shellfish aquaculture industry and extension program through the University of Florida, please contact:

Leslie Sturmer

Statewide Shellfish Aquaculture Extension Agent IV

University of Florida / IFAS
Cooperative Extension Service / Florida Sea Grant
Senator George Kirkpatrick Marine Lab
11350 SW 153rd Court
PO Box 89
Cedar Key, FL 32625

(352) 543-5057 PHONE
(352) 543-6958 FAX E-MAIL