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FL ARC

Clam Research Projects Funded for 2014-15

An annual responsibility of the Aquaculture Review Council (ARC) is to evaluate and rank research projects that have been submitted to the Council through a formal solicitation process. The Council recommended 10 selected projects for funding consideration in the fiscal year 2014-15. Recently, the DACS Division of Aquaculture announced that the Governor included $755,820 in his budget to support these projects, which will enhance farm productivity, technology, job creation and sales. Two of these projects address research priorities identified by the Council for clam culture.

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Project VENUS Gets Underway

The growth of the Florida shellfish culture industry is a dramatic success story. However, the industry is built on a single clam species—the hard clam. Development of alternative culture species and farming technology represents an important gain over the present reliance on a single species crop. During the past seven years, researchers at UF IFAS and Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University (HBOI-FAU) supported by Florida Sea Grant have evaluated the culture and market potential of the sunray venus clam, an attractive native clam. Consumer acceptance and marketing studies have found that these clams rate highly as a

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Oyster Culture Workshops – DVDs Available

Co-hosted by the UF Shellfish Aquaculture Extension Program and DACS Division of Aquaculture, three workshops have been held to provide current information about oyster aquaculture. Topics introduced in the first set of workshops were an overview of U.S. East Coast intensive oyster culture operations and Florida’s experiences; rules of the road—conversion of shellfish aquaculture leases to water column usage, navigational marking requirements, BMPs pertaining to seed sources, and public health regulations for oyster harvesting and processing; and, a look at off-bottom oyster farming gear and methods being developed by Auburn University for the northern Gulf of Mexico.

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Shellfish Harvester Educational Training Program

As of January 2014, the National Sanitation Shellfish Program’s (NSSP) Model Ordinance was modified to include new food safety training requirements. These changes initiated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are outlined in NSSP Guide Section II, Model Ordinance Chapter X. Under the new mandate, shellfish harvesters, shellfish growers, authorized users, or anyone working on an aquaculture lease must participate in an approved training program on processing, handling, and transportation practices prior to certification, recertification, or licensing.

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Lease Expansion in Levy County: Update

On April 28, a survey committee selected George F. Young Inc. to proceed with surveying and marking the Dog Island and Corrigan’s Reef Shellfish Aquaculture Lease Expansions in the vicinity of Cedar Key, Levy County. It is anticipated that the field work will be completed by mid-June.

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NPR Story on Cedar Key Clam Farming

The Cedar Key clam farming industry received widespread attention when National Public Radio (NPR) broadcasted a story entitled Forced To Put Its Nets Away, One Florida Town Clams Up – Literally.

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UF Present at NSA Annual Meeting

The National Shellfisheries Association (NSA) hosted their 106th annual meeting in Jacksonville, Florida this spring. Eight presentations were given by seven UF research and extension faculty on topics ranging from economics, clam genetics, oyster culture, ponderous arks, to aqueous soils.

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