Diversifying Hawai'i Aquaculture with Clam and Oyster Culture

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2009: $50,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2012
Region: Western
State: Hawaii
Principal Investigator:
Dr. Maria Haws
Pacific Aquaculture and Coastal Resources Center
Maria Haws
Pacific Aquaculture & Coastal Resources Center

Annual Reports


  • Animals: shellfish


  • Animal Production: housing

    Proposal summary:

    This project was designed to resolve issues related to the dependence of new bivalve farmers on purchasing large oyster seed rather than buying less expensive, locally available eyed oyster larvae and setting these at their farms. The ability to purchase less expensive larvae and set them, then use a floating upweller system (FLUPSY) will greatly enhance the ability of new farmers to reduce costs and control their own production. An improved understanding of the basics of oyster biology and culture methods is also essential to new oyster farmers. A functional and useful FLUPSY was designed and tested at two traditional Hawaiian pond sites that are among the first to culture oysters in Hawaii. The ability to use a solar powered FLUPSY will enhance farm efficiency and profitability, as electrical costs are high in Hawaii.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    Objective 1: Pre-implementation meetings and planning for producers and aquaculture extension specialists, with training in basic shellfish culture also to be presented.

    Objective 2: Procurement and shipping of materials to the two demonstration sites. Development of draft training materials to be used in training. Experienced oyster farmer to provide assistance in training and advise on design of systems.

    Objective 3: Field days on Moloka`i and O`ahu to build and install remote setting systems and floating upwelling systems (FLUPSY) with accompanying training. Experienced oyster farmer to provide assistance in training.

    Objective 4: Larvae to be sent to Moloka`i and O`ahu for setting in remote setting system with training from aquaculture extension specialists.

    Objective 5: Spat previously set in remote setting systems on Moloka`i and O`ahu to be transferred to FLUPSY for nursery state with accompanying training.

    Objective 6: Grow-out in FLUPSY (Month 8-9) with monitoring of growth and survival.

    Objective 7: Transfer of spat to grow-out system in ponds. Training in shellfish grow-out methods.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.