About the Course

This online course is developed for beginning oyster growers and those interested in learning about the prospects of off-bottom oyster culture in the Gulf of Mexico region. Four virtual sessions provide participants with the basics of how to get started and grow a crop of oysters to harvest. These sessions are made available through collaboration with the University of Florida/IFAS Extension, Auburn University Shellfish Laboratory, and Mississippi-Alabama-Louisiana Sea Grant Programs. In each session, participants are introduced to specialists, extension agents, and resources at these institutions, along with experts in the shellfish aquaculture industry. 

Course Format

Each session consists of short (15 to 30-minutes) video presentations and resource links for additional information. Lesson-related handouts are available for download. You can start the course at any time and learn at your own pace. There are no deadlines. 

Session 1: Getting Your Farm Started

This session provides information on oyster seed purchasing, site and other start-up considerations including gear selection and installation, planting strategies, start-up costs, risk factors, and business plan development.

Session 2: Meet the Gear Suppliers

Manufacturers and suppliers of off-bottom culture gear are featured in this session. Learn about the various gear types available to grow oysters. 

Session 3: Growing a Crop of Oysters

This session focuses on oyster farm management with topics on biofouling control, stocking densities, common mistakes, and predators, pests and diseases. Additional topics include land-based nursery options, financial planning, inventory tracking, and storm preparation. 

Session 4: Harvesting a Crop of Oysters

Harvesting and processing regulations for product safety are introduced in this session, along with marketing and product branding strategies.

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?

The course starts now and does not end. It is a completely self-paced online course – you decide when you start and when you finish. 

How long do I have access to the course?

You have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like – across any and all devices you own.

What if I have specific questions or am experiencing technical difficulties?

Emails of session presenters are provided for specific questions. You can also contact us via our websites or reach us on Facebook.

Report technical difficulties here

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