News // General

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: 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, (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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Financial Assistance Programs: Workshop Presentations, Handouts, and Video Recordings

A workshop on financial assistance programs for shellfish growers was held on August 15 at the FSU Coastal and Marine Lab. Co-hosted by the UF/IFAS Shellfish Aquaculture Extension Program and DACS Division of Aquaculture, representatives from two federal agencies provided information about their programs. The workshop agenda can be downloaded here; presentations and handouts are provided below. In addition, you can watch recorded presentations via the Financial Assistance Programs for Shellfish Growers video playlist on YouTube.

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Videos and Handouts from Microalgal Culture Workshop

To address interest in microalgae culture and techniques for molluscan shellfish hatcheries, a two-day workshop was held on June 5-6, 2019 in Cedar Key. Dr. Gary Wikfors, Director of the NOAA Fisheries Laboratory in Milford, Connecticut, lead presentations and hands-on demonstrations. The workshop was co-hosted by Dr. Huiping Yang and Leslie Sturmer of the University of Florida/IFAS Molluscan Shellfish Aquaculture Program with funding provided through the NOAA National Sea Grant College Program.

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Harvesting and Aquaculture Education Training Workshops

To meet the annual training requirements for shellfish harvesting, handling, and transportation practices as required by the National Shellfish Sanitation Program (NSSP Guide Section II, Model Ordinance Chapter X), a series of workshops has been organized around Florida by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Aquaculture with assistance from the University of Florida IFAS and Florida Sea Grant. Following participation of the shellfish harvesting training, a signed certificate will be issued. 

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