Oyster Culture Risks

What is Risk? Oyster farming, like any aquaculture or agriculture operation, has risks that are beyond the grower’s control. Normal risk is related to occurrences, such as inclement weather, predation, fouling, or other variables, that typically can occur during production. Oyster mortality and costs associated with normal risk are factored into the farm’s potential profitability and generally are considered acceptable at a certain level. Environmental risk in oyster farming can include events such as hurricanes, major storms, or extreme changes in water quality, particularly salinity due to drought or excessive rainfall. As environmental risk increases, potential impacts include increases in

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Agricultural Budgeting Webinar, April 5, 2018

An In-Service Training entitled “Intermediate/Advanced Budgeting for Agriculture and Horticulture Enterprises in Florida” will be offered on April 5, 2018, 9am-4pm, via distance education (webinar). Email Alan Hodges at and ask to register for IST (In-Service Training) #31487. Purpose and Objectives: Budgeting is an important business management technique to estimate costs of production per unit or unit area. Budgets are used by producers to plan production schedules and input purchase requirements, evaluate alternative production practices, assess business risks, determine enterprise mix and product pricing. Budgets are often required by lenders as part of a loan application, and are used

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Harvesting UF Field Trials

Six months after diploid (2N) and triploid (3N) seed (avg shell height: 2N, 51 mm; 3N, 54 mm) were stocked into 14 mm mesh Vexar bags, oysters were harvested in November 2017 (13-14 months from spawn). This was the second of two field trials conducted at UF’s experimental lease within the Dog Island Aquaculture Use Zone off Cedar Key to document the effects of ploidy (2N versus 3N) on production. In this study, the effects of gear design (float type and placement, see Figure 1) and biocide-free antifouling coatings (no coating versus Coatings A and B) were also examined (see

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Hatchery Seminar January 17 in Cedar Key

Shellfish Hatchery Experiences with Scott Rickard, Auburn University Shellfish Lab  A series of workshops / seminars is being conducted to address industry issues in the production of shellfish seed. Hatchery operators and personnel are invited to attend. In this seminar, Scott Rikard with the Auburn University Shellfish Lab will talk about his shellfish hatchery experiences, including the following topics: running a seasonal, outdoor hatchery facility—do’s and don’ts, recent improvements to address production issues, use of commercial algal paste versus live algae cultures, use of containerized spawning system, and optimizing oyster set on micro-cultch. Scott manages the Auburn University Shellfish Laboratory

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The 2018 Oyster South Symposium Is Coming!

The Oyster South Symposium (OSS) is being held by Oyster South (a non-profit dedicated to advancing oyster aquaculture in the southern US), in collaboration with National Sea Grant, to bring 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 on February 9-10, 2018 in Charleston, SC. Registration includes admission to all informational sessions (all day Friday and Saturday morning), all breaks, lunch on Friday, February 9th, a mixer on Friday night, and the trade show. This year’s Symposium will feature talks

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Harvesting Growers’ Field Trials

In the second set of growers’ trials, eight growers in four west coast counties (Lee, Franklin, Levy, Wakulla) received oyster seed (2500 diploids – 2N and 2500 triploids – 3N, 21-26 mm in shell height) during March through April 2017 (see March 2017 news article). Growers employed various culture methods, which allowed for evaluation of site and gear interactions with ploidy type. Once oysters were placed in culture units (bags or baskets) at final densities, growers were asked to maintain three replicate bags or baskets for each ploidy type similarly as their other oysters but not to sort, grade, or

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Disaster Relief Resources for Aquaculture Producers

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has released the fact sheet, Disaster Relief for Aquaculture Producers, which summarizes assistance and resources currently available from various agencies.  In addition USDA is hosting several meetings around the state. These meetings have been updated recently and the current link is: Please reach out to the listed contact person for any questions or to determine if attending the meeting would be of benefit to you or your farm.

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Red Tide Workshops Rescheduled

The Red Tide Workshop hosted by Florida Sea Grant at the  South Florida Museum in Bradenton, FL has been rescheduled for November 7th.  The focus of the meeting will be on the impacts of harmful algal blooms (HABs) and strategies for coping with them. Presenters will include professionals from various state agencies and academic institutions as well as industry members. The full day workshop (8:30 am – 4:30 pm) aims to increase shellfish production in Florida by fostering communication about how to respond to a harmful algal bloom and how to operate in places where they are prevalent. The meeting

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Introduction to the Lone Cabbage Oyster Reef Restoration Project

Thursday, October 26, 7:00 p.m. Community Center, 809 6th Street, Cedar Key In less than 30 years, 3,000-year-old oyster reefs off Florida’s Big Bend coastline have declined by 88 percent, according to University of Florida/IFAS researchers. For residents who depend on the fishing grounds and other coastal resources protected by these reefs, it’s a worrying trend. Now, with an award from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund, a UF/IFAS research team will work to restore these shrinking oyster reefs and help coastal ecosystems and economies become more resilient in the face of climate change and rising

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Sampling UF Field Trials

As in the first phase of the demonstration project, oysters were also cultured at the UF experimental lease off Cedar Key in the second phase. On June 7, 2017, diploid and triploid oyster seed were stocked into 14 mm mesh Vexar bags at a density of 150 per bag. The effects of float design (type and bag placement) on oyster production and fouling control were further tested in these field trials. See the June 2017 news article for more information on gear types and management practices evaluated. In addition, two commercially available, biocide-free antifouling coatings were applied to some of

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