Florida Off-Bottom Oyster Culture

An Online Course

This online course consists of four sessions developed in collaboration with the University of Florida/IFAS Extension, FDACS Division of Aquaculture, Auburn University Shellfish Lab, Florida Small Business Development Center, and additional presenters. The targeted audience is beginning oyster farmers with the assumption that farm lease sites have been obtained. Each session consists of short (15 to 30-minutes) video presentations and resource links for additional information. In addition, live Zoom meetings will allow for question-and-answers and discussion with session presenters.

SESSION 1: Getting Your Farm Started

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

Available April 2021    

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.  

Available May 2021

SESSION 3: Growing a Crop of Oysters

This session focuses on oyster farm management with topics on biofouling control, sorting and grading regimes, determining when stocking densities need to be reduced, and predators, pest and diseases.  Additional topics include business planning, lease best management practices, environmental stewardship, and storm preparation and recovery.     

Available June 2021

SESSION 4: Harvesting, Selling and Marketing Your Oysters

Topics will include harvesting and processing regulations for product safety, oyster marketing and distribution and product branding. Tools to help growers create customized business pans and track inventory will be introduced.

Available July 2021