- Animals: shellfish
- Animal Production: aquaculture
- Crop Production: varieties and cultivars
This project aims to help sea farmers diversify their offerings by using a variety of oyster growing techniques to produce distinct products on a single site. Four types of equipment/handling will be tested (lantern nets, floating tube cages, “straddled” oyster bags, and traditional floating oyster cages) each with differing exposure to depth, wave action, light, and food-sources. Oyster dimensions, appearance, meat quality (plumpness), and flavor will be measured over the course of the growing season. Near the end of the growing season, a food-industry taste test and survey will gauge the success of differentiation efforts. Outreach will focus primarily on social media and press (due to COVID 19) but will have a farmer-to farmer component- with in-depth techniques and results shared with members of an aquaculture co-op.
Project objectives from proposal:
This projects seeks to develop methods for growing multiple distinct oyster products on a single subtidal farm though the use of varied husbandry practices (tube cages, lantern nets, straddled bags, and floating cages).
Objective 1: Utilize varied amounts of wave action/turbation to create oysters with distinctive shell shapes by treatment
Objective 2: Utilize differences in depth to give oysters different food sources and shell coloration
Objective 3: Test marketability of these oysters as new/different products through taste tests, food industry outreach.
Objective 4: Demonstrate ability to farm oysters multiple parts of water column on a subtidal lease (as a potential strategy for increasing yields)
If successful, this project would give farmers tools to diversify their oyster offerings and gain market access. This information could be useful for new farmers- helping them plan leases and equipment around the ability to grow multiple oyster products.