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COVID-19 RESOURCES FOR SHELLFISH GROWERS

Resources are available to help the shellfish aquaculture industry and others develop preparedness plans and strengthen response to different scenarios. Information is current on the date posted. Access websites below for up-to-date information. April 2, 2021 COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is increasing the maximum amount small businesses and non-profit organizations can borrow through its COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. Starting the week of April 6, 2021, the SBA is raising the loan limit for the COVID-19 EIDL program from 6-months of economic injury with a maximum loan amount of

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Launch of the Shellfish Growers Resiliency Fund

The Nature Conservancy and The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Supporting Oyster Aquaculture and Restoration (SOAR) program issued on March 29, 2021  a request for proposals for the new $1 million Shellfish Growers Resiliency Fund (Fund). The Fund aims to pave the way for a more resilient and sustainable U.S. shellfish industry that benefits the ocean and the communities which rely upon it. Funding will be open to applicants in the United States and will be distributed equitably. The small award will fund one-year projects (up to $20,000) and will target shellfish growers, shellfish aquaculture industry associations, and closely linked supply chain companies supporting

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Ashley Smyth

How Oysters Keep Oceans Clean | Mission Unstoppable

Florida cultured oysters, Treasure Coast Oysters, and Dr. Ashley Smyth, a University of Florida biogeochemist, were featured in a recent segment of Mission Unstoppable.  Learn how oysters help to clean up the coastal environment!   https://youtu.be/ucHRaQCDQFI

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USDA to buy clams for food banks!

The USDA Agriculture Marketing Service has announced plans to include purchasing $5 million worth of farmed hard clams (processed-cooked, frozen, and packaged) for distribution to various food nutrition assistance programs.  Purchases will be made with the purpose to encourage the continued domestic consumption of these products by diverting them from the normal channels of trade and commerce. In an effort to alleviate some of the oversupply of farmed clams and to avoid downward price pressure, the East Coast Shellfish Growers Association petitioned AMS to purchase clams to be handed out at food banks. This is the first such purchase AMS has

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Virtual Aquaculture Trade Show

An invitation to view from your computer, laptop, or tablet, the latest in aquaculture equipment and supplies. The Northeast Aquaculture Conference & Exposition (NACE) and the East Coast Shellfish Growers Association (ECSGA) have teamed up to host a two-day virtual (using ZOOM) trade show from 3:00-5:00 PM EST each afternoon of January 12-13, 2021. NACE exhibitors are scheduled with 15 minute time slots to describe their products and answer questions in real time with zoom attendees. If you miss a presentation, they will be recorded and posted on the NACE and ECSGA web sites. If you have questions, contact Chris

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Impacts of COVID-19 on the Florida Shellfish Aquaculture Industry

Like many others in agriculture and aquaculture, Florida’s shellfish aquaculture growers experienced sharp declines in sales revenues as a result of public health measures enacted to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The UF/IFAS Economic Impact Analysis Program, in collaboration with UF/IFAS Shellfish Aquaculture Extension and FDACS Division of Aquaculture, estimates that the Florida shellfish aquaculture industry lost approximately $1.85 million in sales revenue from March to mid-May of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This new report details the data, methods, and results of the analysis of losses.

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Sign-up for Farm Services Agency’s NAP Program extended to Sept. 30

The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) is responsible for the delivery of federal farm programs to help farmers manage risks and recover from disasters. The Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program, or NAP, provides financial assistance to farmers of non-insurable crops to protect them against natural disasters that result in crop losses. The deadline to sign out for NAP coverage at your local FSA office for the 2021 crop year has been extended to September 30, 2020. Many offices are currently closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so call or email first. NAP coverage is available for clam, oyster, and sunray venus crops.

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New fact sheets on storm and hurricane preparedness for oyster growers

A series of newly published fact sheets for the off-bottom oyster aquaculture industry in the Gulf of Mexico provides guidelines and suggested safety procedures for preparing for tropical storms and hurricanes. Florida Sea Grant, the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium, and Louisiana Sea Grant developed the “Tropical storm and hurricane preparedness for off-bottom oyster aquaculture in the Gulf of Mexico” series to help oyster farmers reduce damages related to wind, storm surge and decreased salinity from flooding. There are six publications that focus on planning, preparation and recovery for different types of farms, facilities and equipment:  Introductory Planning Guide   Land-based Operations Guide Workboats

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Oyster

Webinar Recording Available: Trying to Explain Unexplained Cultured Oyster Mortalities in the Gulf of Mexico

Video recording of the the virtual webinar, ‘Trying to Explain Unexplained Cultured Oyster Mortalities in the Gulf of Mexico’ is now available. To view visit: https://youtu.be/O69ZMIFp1UA https://youtu.be/O69ZMIFp1UAOBJECTIVES Increase knowledge of oyster farmers about what is known about oyster mortalities along the Gulf Coast and the effect of ploidy Increase awareness of current efforts to address mortality issues Seek industry input about what is being observed and priorities for future workAGENDA Welcome & Introductions: Leslie Sturmer, Bill Walton (5min) What do we know about oyster mortalities? (40min) Leslie Sturmer: Florida studies comparing diploid and triploid oysters Bill Walton: Alabama studies comparing diploid and

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Industry Survey of Desired Traits for Gulf Oysters

The Gulf of Mexico Oyster Genetics and Breeding Research Consortium is seeking your help. The consortium is coordinating the SALT (Selection of Aquaculture Lines with Improved Traits) project to develop lines of eastern oyster bred for improved performance in the Gulf of Mexico. These lines will be made available to industry operating in the Gulf region. Your input is being sought to define project objectives through the following survey. The survey takes only a few minutes to complete and growers’ feedback will be of great value in developing this important resource for oyster aquaculture. Please return responses to Heather King, heather.king@usm.edu (email). If you

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