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.
Each session consists of short (15 to 30-minutes) video presentations and resource links for additional information. Lesson-related handouts are available for download. A discussion section at the end of each session allows participants in the course to interact with each other and ask questions of the session instructors. Once enrolled in the course, you can start 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.
- 13 videos with a completion time of 3 hours, 40 minutes
- Available NOW
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.
- Anticipated availability – July 2021
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.
- Anticipated availability – September 2021
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.
- Anticipated availability – November 2021