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

Nov. 18 oil spill science seminar to discuss Gulf seafood

The Sea Grant college programs in the Gulf of Mexico will host an oil spill science seminar, “Healthy Gulf Seafood,” from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 18, in the Hardy Hall Ballroom at The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Park Campus, 730 E. Beach Blvd., in Long Beach, Miss.

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The seminar will focus on how agencies tested seafood during and after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and what they found. Speakers also will talk about ways that fish and other animals break down contaminants, like oil, and how scientists monitor seafood to keep consumers safe.

There is no registration fee, and lunch will be provided. Registration is required to receive lunch. You can register online  or call Larissa Graham, Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant oil spill extension specialist, at 251-348-5436.

The seminar will also be available online as a webinar.

The Oil Spill Science Outreach Program is a partnership between the Sea Grant programs in the Gulf of Mexico and the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI). The Gulf of Mexico Alliance manages and administers funding for GoMRI. The purpose of the outreach program is to share oil spill science with people whose livelihoods depend on a healthy Gulf.

Innovative national conference to explore how communities solve waterfront challenges

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Situated on Biscayne Bay, the city of Miami experiences many of the issues that waterfront communities face each day. (Florida Sea Grant photo)

As urban, commercial, and rural waterfronts across the U.S. face challenges to their continued existence and development, community leaders are increasingly finding solutions by listening, learning and interacting with each other.

That’s the impetus behind the National Working Waterfronts and Waterways Symposium, which runs this year from Nov.16-19 in Tampa, Fla.

It’s the only conference of its kind to bring together planners, property developers, researchers, elected officials, attorneys, and other stakeholders from waterfront communities to learn about local, state and national initiatives, management approaches and tools to address issues of water access and water-dependent industries.

Attendees will hear about new approaches that increase the capacity of coastal communities to balance competing uses and plan for the future of working waterfronts and waterways, according to conference organizer Bob Swett, a specialist in boating issues and waterways planning for Florida Sea Grant.

“They are dedicated champions of local working waterfronts, and they come from throughout the U.S. to share ideas and solutions, and to learn about new approaches,” he said. “Being in the company of hundreds of such like-minded souls can be quite transformative.”

This year’s conference includes sessions on redevelopment of waterfront communities, marine industry sustainability, surviving commercial fishing declines, land-use issues related to waterway management, and preserving maritime culture and heritage.

Registration for the symposium is $425 until Oct. 19. For commercials entities and organizations wishing to engage with attendees, sponsorships that include display space are available through a range of packages on a first-come, first-served basis.

Complete symposium details are available at the conference website, http://www.conference.ifas.ufl.edu/NWWWS/index.html.

New publications and science seminar focus on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill’s impact on fisheries

The Sea Grant Oil Spill Science Outreach Team is excited to released its first oil spill science outreach publications.

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The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill’s Impact on Gulf Seafood

Learn about the results of federal, state and independent seafood testing after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

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Fisheries Landings and Disasters in the Gulf of Mexico

Learn about historical fisheries landings data within the context of man-made and natural disasters. Explore why this data is important for fisheries management.

 

The Oil Spill Outreach Team will also be offering a seminar on seafood safety:

Oil Spill Science Seminar: Healthy Gulf Seafood – Nov 18, 2015 in Long Beach, MS – Learn how agencies tested seafood during and after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, how fish and other animals break down oil and other contaminants, and how scientists monitoring seafood to keep consumers safe. This seminar is free and open to all.

The next series of outreach publications will focus on dispersants. Click here to view upcoming science seminars that the oil spill science outreach team is offering around the Gulf. To be updated about the oil spill science outreach team activities, seminars, and publications sign up for their email list (click here).

Oil Spill Science Seminar: Five years later, what have we learned?

On March 18, 2015, the Oil Spill Science Outreach Team will be holding a fisheries seminar, “Oil Spill Science Seminar: Five years later, what have we learned?” This seminar is free and open to the public. Scientists will present the latest fisheries-related research about the impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and dispersant application on Gulf of Mexico habitats, communities, and individual species. For more information, please click here or email Larissa Graham with Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant. Mar 2015 FIsheries Science Seminar

Scientists use water-movement model, oyster larvae to search for suitable habitat

When oysters hatch, the microscopic larvae are totally at the mercy of the environment. Controlled by time and tide, they move where and when the water takes them, sometimes landing far from where they were spawned. When they finally come to rest, the place where they settle may or may not be a suitable place for them to grow.

Dr. Ruth Carmichael points out some man-made reefs designed to curb erosional processes visible near shore.

Dr. Ruth Carmichael points out some man-made reefs designed to curb erosional processes visible near shore.

Two researchers, marine ecologist Ruth H. Carmichael of the Dauphin Island Sea Lab and coastal physical oceanographer Keyong Park of Texas A&M University in Galveston, have combined their expertise to discover more about how these processes affect the larvae of oysters and other commercially important seafood populations as they make their first journeys. Read more

Video Shows Do-It-Yourselfers how to Turn a Barrel into an Inexpensive Oyster Nursery

Louisiana Sea Grant (LSG) recently completed a video demonstrating how to build an oyster nursery silo from a 55-gallon plastic drum. The demo can be viewed at www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcd6m6c51Gg&feature=youtu.be.

John Supan, an oyster specialist with Louisiana Sea Grant and the LSU AgCenter and the director of the Sea Grant Oyster Hatchery on Grand Isle, has been a leader in researching the techniques and feasibility of hatchery-based, off-bottom oyster culture in the state. He developed the 18-minute nursery construction video with the assistance of the LSG Communications Office. In the film, Supan shows the tools, supplies and techniques needed for the project and walks the viewer through the entire fabrication process. Supan also demonstrates how to construct a silo from a piece of pipe that fits inside the drum silo to contain the tiniest seed oysters until they are mature enough to place in the larger silo.

Sea Grant Grad Student to Serve at Masters

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John Shackelford

When the likes of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy tee it up on the first hole at Augusta National Golf Club for the 2013 Masters Golf Tournament, David Toms won’t be the only one representing Louisiana among golf’s most notable players. John Shackelford, a Louisiana State University Food Science graduate student, will work as a lead chef manning the kitchen that serves some of the tournament’s corporate sponsors. To read more, click here.