Louisiana Sea Grant techniques, equipment to improve Alabama hatchery’s production of oyster larvae

High-density oyster larval culture equipment at the Louisiana Sea Grant Oyster Research Laboratory, which serves as a model for the techniques being adopted by the Auburn University Shellfish Lab. Photo credit: John Supan

(DAUPHIN ISLAND, Ala.) — In an effort to improve survival of oyster larvae grown at the Auburn University Shellfish Laboratory, scientists are adopting innovative techniques developed by John Supan of the Louisiana Sea Grant Oyster Research Laboratory. These high-density larval culture techniques will allow for tighter control of production conditions.

This effort to help the new off-bottom oyster farming industry in the northern Gulf of Mexico is being funded by the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission with support from the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium and Louisiana Sea Grant.

Currently, Auburn University Shellfish Laboratory is one of only a handful of hatcheries producing oyster larvae and seed in the Gulf of Mexico. It is the primary provider of seed for the off-bottom oyster aquaculture industry in Alabama. In addition, it provides seed and eyed larvae to growers and researchers in the region. In 2014, for example, the shellfish lab produced over 188 million eyed larvae and over 12 million oyster seed. Read more

Planning for sustainable coastal economies

Tools, resources can help fisheries businesses create business plans and plan for resilience. Read more in Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant’s staff blog by Rusty Grice, oyster aquaculture business specialist.

“Recently, I attended a seminar that was presented by agents from the Alabama Cooperative Extension System called F.A.R.M Outlook 2017 which stands for Farm Agribusiness Resource Management. The goal was to introduce a recently formed team of specialists to our farmers and make them aware of business management resources and tools through Outreach. The areas of expertise represented included economics, accounting, tax law and crop management among others…” Read more

Red snapper research funding opportunity

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The Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium is accepting proposal submissions to estimate the abundance of red snapper in the U.S. waters in the Gulf of Mexico. MASGC anticipates funding one proposal at a level of $9.5 million plus a non-federal match requirement of $2.5 million. Proposals from institutions of higher education are welcome.

This funding opportunity is to develop an independent abundance estimate of Age-2 and older red snapper. The successful applicant will determine the absolute abundance of the red snapper population by habitat type, including artificial reefs, natural reefs and unclassified habitats. The design must include mark-recapture tagging and advanced technology methods.

A letter of intent is required to submit a full proposal and is due by 5 p.m. CDT on Friday, April 7, 2017. The proposal submission deadline is 5 p.m. CDT on Friday, June 9, 2017.

A webinar will be held to discuss this funding opportunity on March 31 from 1-2:30 p.m. CDT. Please visit the MASGC red snapper RFP webpage for instructions on how to participate in the webinar.

Register now for Bays and Bayous

Registration is now open for the 2016 Mississippi-Alabama Bays and Bayous Symposium.

 

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Researchers offer bounty for live tiger shrimp

Check out this story about a Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant project that is studying invasive Asian tiger shrimp.

Study investigates how tiger shrimp may affect native Gulf shrimp

When a new species appears in the Gulf of Mexico, it can cause concern and raise a lot of questions. Which habitat does it prefer? What will it eat? What will eat it?

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One of these species of concern is the invasive tiger shrimp (Penaeus monodon), a very large shrimp that is native to Indo-Pacific, Asian and Australian waters. Jennifer Hill, an assistant professor at Louisiana Tech University, has been working to determine which type of habitat tiger shrimp prefer in the Gulf and how they might affect native shrimp populations. She is studying whether tiger shrimp will compete with native populations for food, if native shrimp are likely to become their prey and if existing Gulf predators will eat tiger shrimp. Read more

Submit an abstract for Bays and Bayous

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The deadline for submitting abstracts has been extended to 5 P.M. Central Time on Friday, Sept. 16. View the call for abstracts.

The 2016 Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Bays and Bayous Symposium’s program committee welcomes and encourages the participation of scientists, natural resource professionals, students, business people, educators, outreach specialists, policy and decision makers, consultants and individuals from governmental or non-governmental organizations to submit a presentation abstract.

Presenters are encouraged to discuss current research results that are relevant to Gulf of Mexico environmental issues and how this research is used to support the economy, the environment and society by informing the decision-making process or increasing marine science literacy.

Session topics include:

  • Climate and hazard resilience
  • Oil spill impacts
  • Habitat management and restoration
  • Living resources
  • Water quality and quantity

Abstracts can be submitted for both oral and poster presentations. The oral presentations will be 15 minutes with a 5-minute question-and-answer session following each presentation. Individuals wishing to present must submit an abstract no later than 5 p.m., Friday, Sept. 16, 2016. Abstracts will be limited to 250 words.

Walton joins Sea Grant as oyster aquaculture extension specialist

walton bio pic 1(OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss.) — The Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium (MASGC) welcomes Bill Walton of Auburn University to its outreach team. He is serving as an oyster aquaculture extension specialist who will use aquaculture as a tool for restoration, stock assessment and farming to help increase oyster production in Mississippi.

Walton, who has a doctorate degree in fisheries science, is also an associate professor at Auburn University, an extension specialist with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System and a faculty member at Dauphin Island Sea Lab.

A partnership between the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (DMR), The University of Southern Mississippi, Auburn University, the Alabama Cooperative Extension System and MASGC made the position possible. Read More