Off-Bottom Oyster Aquaculture
In 2016, the GSMFC began a cooperative effort with NOAA’s Office of Aquaculture to develop and manage a small grants program to address the technical and regulatory opportunities and challenges of oyster farming in the Gulf region. A total of six projects were funded across the Gulf at a total of $375,000. The six projects ranged from outreach tools for advancing aquaculture to education of future industry participants, development of oyster hatcheries and creation of tetraploid oyster seed sources for industry expansion throughout the Gulf region. A second round of oyster projects was provided in 2017 with a total of seven projects funded for a total of $398,000. The 2017 opportunity was virtually identical in priorities and focus to the first year, and was intended to further explore spatial planning and siting, regulatory constraints, and production challenges.