News // Featured News

Pine Island Clam Jam Showcases Sunray Venus

Over 700 folks had the opportunity to take home some cultured sunray venus clams—in addition to popular hard clams—during the appropriately titled Pine Island Clam Jam Food and Music Fest that took place January 31 on a 40-acre Green Planet palm nursery near Bokeelia. The weather was great for a day of music, beer, clam chowder and fun hosted by Pure Grown Aquaculture and the Center for Organic and Sustainable Living. A clam farming display, provided by the UF Shellfish Aquaculture Extension Program, was popular with the crowd. Joy Hazell, Lee County Sea Grant agent, also provided local information on

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New Guide Released for Shellfish Growers

A new guide, Information for Shellfish Growers, was recently released by the Interagency Working Group on Aquaculture to help navigate the shellfish aquaculture permit process in the United States. The guide is designed to help shellfish farmers understand the main types of leases, permits, or other forms of authorization needed for a commercial shellfish farm. The guide also includes links to additional sources of information and contacts who can help growers identify the specific requirements for their respective state or region.

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Update on USDA FSA NAP Program

The Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP), reauthorized by the 2014 Farm Bill and administered by the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA), provides financial assistance to growers of noninsurable crops to protect against natural disasters that result in lower yields or crop losses. NAP provides catastrophic level (CAT) coverage based on the amount of loss that exceeds 50% of expected production at 55% of the average market price for the crop.

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Project VENUS Update

During the first year of Project VENUS (Vocational Education Network Using Sunrays), over 65% of the hatcheries in the state received broodstock and a small stipend to assist them in producing sunray venus clam seed. Excessive rainfall over the past winter and spring resulted in lower salinities and may have affected seed production.

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This Year’s Sebastian Clambake a Success

The Sebastian Clambake, billed as a “Lagoon Festival,” celebrated on November 7-9 the area’s special way of life along the Indian River, which has been the life-blood of the community from the beginning. The lagoon has provided its citizens and visitors with recreation, tranquil beauty, and food for generations.

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The Way We Worked Exhibit

Over a six-week period this fall, Cedar Key was home to a traveling Smithsonian Institute exhibit, The Way We Worked, which explores how work became a central element in American culture by tracing the many changes that affected the workforce and environments over the past 150 years.

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Pilot Clam Crop Insurance Program Dropped in Florida

Since 2000, the Cultivated Clam Crop Insurance Program has been available for aquaculturists in selected counties in Florida, South Carolina, Virginia, and Massachusetts. During this time, the pilot program has undergone several comprehensive reviews. Based on results of the most recent evaluation, the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation terminated the program for the 2015 and subsequent crop years in Florida.

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Study on Effects of Mechanical Harvesting Completed

The final report of an Aquaculture Review Council-supported project evaluating alternative farming technology for the sunray venus clam was submitted to the DACS Division of Aquaculture. An 80% increase in sunray venus production was obtained using bottom plants versus bottom bags. Further, the culture period to reach a potential market size of ~2” shell length can be reduced by 15-25% using the bottom plant method.

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Dialogue with Shellfish Culture Industry

During August through October, workshops were held with shellfish growers around the state to provide information on recent and ongoing applied projects being conducted by the UF IFAS Shellfish Aquaculture Research and Extension Program.

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