An informal exchange on oyster culture activities in the Gulf of Mexico region was held in October at the Senator Kirkpatrick Marine Lab in Cedar Key. Mark Berrigan with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Aquaculture began with a discussion on how fishery enhancement methods can be applied to extensive oyster cultivation. A review of oyster aquaculture efforts on Florida’s west coast was given by Leslie Sturmer with the University of Florida IFAS Shellfish Aquaculture Extension Program. Bill Walton with Auburn University’s Shellfish Lab spoke about efforts in developing oyster culture in Alabama. Dr. Walton’s work focuses on evaluating the feasibility and cost effectiveness of aquaculture gear for raising oysters, testing of various culture methods to improve oyster quality, and assessing potential markets for a high-end branded Gulf oyster. Louisiana’s traditional oyster fishery, which involves the use of public seed grounds and private leases, was reviewed by John Supan with Louisiana State University. Dr. Supan also introduced LSU’s efforts in developing disease-resistance strains, producing triploid oysters for high summer-time meat yield, testing of oyster cultch materials, and evaluating off-bottom culture.
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Restoring Oyster Reef Habitat in Florida
Oyster Culture Efforts on the West Coast of Florida
Oyster Farming for the Gulf of Mexico Coast