News

Hurricane Irma Resource Information

One of the most intense Atlantic hurricanes in recent history, Hurricane Irma proved to be a fierce storm that left behind a path of destruction through Florida, from the Keys to Jacksonville and many areas in between. Many of Florida’s shellfish producing counties have been affected by the storm and assessment of losses is ongoing. Below is a summary of resource information being released through our state and federal agriculture agencies. More information will be posted as it is forthcoming. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Response According to a USDA News Release dated September 13, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced

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Follow the Big Bend Shellfish Trail

The Big Bend Shellfish Trail and Map was produced with a grant award of $20,000 received by the Levy County Board of County Commission. One of five collaborative grants awarded across the Big Bend counties—Dixie, Jefferson, Levy, and Taylor—the funding encouraged partnerships to strengthen the region’s economic vitality while simultaneously ensuring the ongoing health of its natural resources. “A number of partners participated in the creation of Florida’s first Shellfish Trail and the largest trail of its kind in the United States. This project showcases our working waterfront communities and encourages economic growth in Levy County and in the Big

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Red Tide Stinks! Workshop on Strategies for Dealing with Harmful Algal Blooms

Florida Sea Grant and the Gulf Shellfish Institute are hosting an upcoming workshop for the southwest Florida shellfish industry. This workshop aims to bring together industry, scientists and regulators to discuss shellfish industry challenges as related to harmful algal blooms. The workshop will be held on Tuesday, September 12, 2017 from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm at the South Florida Museum, 201 10th Street West, Bradenton, FL 34205. Registration and coffee open at 8:30 am. Lunch will be provided on site.  An evening reception will follow the workshop from 5:30 to 7:30 pm, also at the South Florida Museum. For

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Sign-up for USDA Farm Service Agency NAP Coverage

The Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP), administered by the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA), provides financial assistance to growers of non-insurable crops to protect against natural disasters that result in 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. Beginning in 2015, additional coverage may be elected by growers by the application closing date; growers who buy-up coverage must pay a premium for that level of coverage in addition to the service fee. The NAP Fact Sheet can be viewed here.

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How to Attend Upcoming Hatchery Workshop through Internet

The University of Florida/IFAS Shellfish Aquaculture Extension Program will be hosting a workshop entitled Advances in Shellfish Hatchery Technology and Review of Operational & Maintenance Guidelines on Thursday, August 23rd from 4-6 pm (EST) at the Senator George Kirkpatrick Marine Lab in Cedar Key, FL. The workshop presenter will be Dr. John Supan, director of the Louisiana Sea Grant Oyster Hatchery, a state-of-the art facility which opened in 2015 to produce a billion oyster larvae for supplementing natural production of public oyster bars. Dr. Supan has over 25 years of shellfish hatchery experience. To accommodate interest in this workshop, there are

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Hatchery Workshop August 23 in Cedar Key

A series of workshops is being conducted to address industry issues in the production of shellfish seed. Hatchery operators and personnel are invited to attend. The topic of this workshop is: Advances in Shellfish Hatchery Technology and Review of Operational & Maintenance Guidelines. Topics to be presented include: advances in shellfish hatchery system design, filtration equipment, and algal production systems; how to set up and operate a semi-closed or closed (recirculating) hatchery system; how to adjust water supply source with buffering system if pH and alkalinity are not optimal and values to maintain; and outline of shellfish hatchery operation and

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2017 Census of Agriculture: Make Sure You Are Counted!

Fish, shellfish, plant, reptile, crustacean and other farmers that grow aquatic animals will soon have the opportunity to represent aquaculture in their communities, state and nationally by taking part in the 2017 Census of Agriculture. Conducted every five years by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), the census, to be mailed at the end of this year, is a complete count of all U.S. farms, ranches, and those who operate them. As examples of the importance of Census of Agriculture data, this information drives decision making by state and federal governments, manufacturers of aquaculture production gear,

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New UF Growout Study Initiated

New UF Growout Study Initiated

The second phase of the demonstration project evaluates the performance of diploid and triploid oysters planted in early spring, as opposed to the first phase in which oysters were planted in late summer. In addition to seed provided to participants in March (see previous article), oysters of each ploidy type were field nursed by the UF project team at their experimental lease off Cedar Key in April. At that time, diploids were 29 mm in shell height (SH) and triploids were 34 mm. Oysters were stocked into 9 mm mesh Vexar bags at densities of 700 per bag. After seven

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Consumer Evaluation of Cultured Oysters

Oysters typically acquire their flavor from their growing environment and are frequently named after their harvest location. Consumers can expect variations in appearance, color, aroma, taste, and mouth-feel that influence preferences, value, and reputation. Sensory attributes and acceptability can make the difference in market success of Florida cultured oysters. Diploid and triploid oysters harvested from the UF demonstration site in Cedar Key were delivered under refrigerated conditions to the UF/IFAS Food Science and Human Nutrition Department in Gainesville on May 24, 2017 for evaluation under the guidance of Dr. Charles Sims. All rules pertaining to harvesting and handling of oysters,

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Aquaculture Certificate Renewals and Shellfish Harvester Training

All Aquaculture Certificates of Registration (“AQ cards”) will expire on June 30th. Renewal information will be mailed by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS), Division of Aquaculture, this includes a preprinted application and notice of $100 fee. Any applicant working with shellfish must complete the Harvester Education Training and submit a copy of their certificate of training along with the application. Applications and fees must be returned by June 30th to avoid a lapse in certification. They may be submitted via mail: FDACS, P.O. Box 6710, Tallahassee, FL 32314-6710, with a check or money order made payable

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