News

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. September 18, 2020 USDA Providing Pandemic-Related Assistance to Shellfish Growers (NEW!) U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced an additional $14 billion for agricultural producers who continue to face market disruptions and associated costs because of COVID-19. Aquaculture species eligible for CFAP 2 includes any aquatic organisms grown as food for human consumption, fish raised as feed for fish that are consumed by humans, and ornamental

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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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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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Applicant Workshops for Oyster Culture Leases in Franklin County

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) has been granted authorization to establish the Four Mile Aquaculture Use Zone in Apalachicola Bay and to execute 38 submerged land leases for use of the full water column. FDACS will accept lease applications from March 6 through March 20, 2020. Download the following support documentation. – Public notice of open aquaculture lease application period – Application for a state-owned sovereignty submerged land aquaculture lease – Map of proposed Four Mile Aquaculture Use Zone Pre-application workshops were held on March 4th and 5th in Apalachicola to provide information about the application process and to inform

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USDA Releases 2018 Census of Aquaculture Results

Total sales of U.S. aquaculture products in 2018 was $1.5 billion, an increase of 10.5% from 2013, according to the 2018 Census of Aquaculture released in December by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. In 2018, there were 2,932 aquaculture farms with sales in the United States, down 5% from 2013. In Florida the total number of farms that reported aquaculture sales was 325, accounting for 11% of farms in the U.S. However, the number of Florida farms was down by 17% from the previous census in which 393 farms were reported.

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2020 Oyster South Symposium is Coming Soon

The 4th Annual Oyster South Symposium is being held on February 21-23, 2020 in Wilmington, North Carolina. Sponsored by Oyster South, Inc. (a non-profit dedicated to advancing oyster aquaculture in the southern US), this event brings together producers, gear suppliers, distributors, chefs, food writers, vendors, researchers, students and managers from the southeast region to discuss pressing issues and relevant, practical research on oyster aquaculture. Registration is now open and includes admission to all informational sessions (all day Friday and Saturday), all breaks, lunch on Friday & Saturday, the ‘Shuck and Tell’ on Friday night at Wrightsville Beach Brewery, a new awards

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Monthly Inventory Reports for USDA Farm Service Agency’s NAP Program

The USDA Farm Service Agency’s Noninsured Disaster Assistance Program, or NAP, requires clam growers to provide an inventory report at the beginning of the crop year, which is from September 1 through August 30 of the next year. Beginning in crop year 2020, clam growers are also required to maintain a monthly inventory. Monthly inventory records are to be kept up to date and submitted to the FSA county office by the 15th of each month for the prior month. Records are to be used for spot checks and in the event of a disaster occurrence. Failure to provide accurate

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