University of Maryland Extension

Oysters

Advanced Lease Management

Many growers who have gotten into shellfish production are finding that they require better management skills.  Knowing how to judge the larvae and seed obtained from a variety of hatcheries or to look at differences between lines of oysters can make your business more profitable.   Read more ...

Aquaculture Policy

Oyster aquaculture has long been suggested as a way to increase production, income, and employment in Maryland’s shellfish industry — even in the 1800s when natural oyster harvest was abundant. Laws seeking to promote oyster culture passed in 1820, 1865, and 1906 but encountered opposition from public harvesters wishing to prevent competition. Consequently, laws became restrictive Read more ...

 Bottom Culture

The traditional method of oyster production is bottom culture using a Submerged Land Lease (SLL) granted by the State of Maryland.  This creates a landlord/tenant relationship between the grower and the State, allowing the leaseholder to grow oysters using methods that mimic a natural oyster reef.  Read more ...

Contained Culture

Water column leases (WCL) have become popular, mostly for producing high quality single oysters to be sold to raw bars.  The oysters are usually set on ‘micro-chips’, or finely ground shell fragments, and must spend time in a nursery prior to being placed in containment gear and on grounds for growout. It is imperative that these ‘cultchless’ oysters be protected from preditors  Read More ...

Getting Started

Starting a shellfish aquaculture business requires many important decisions.  These include: what type of gear to use; what markets to target with your products; where to find a suitable lease and what type to apply for; how to make out the applications; where to find financing; and many others Read More ...

Meet our Industry

With the revision of Maryland’s shellfish leasing laws in 2009 and the concentration of authority in the Department of Natural Resources new Aquaculture Division, a great many new businesses have developed.  We invite you to meet some of our growers in the following photo galleries  Read More ...

Oyster Gardening

To assist those interested in oyster gardening, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science helped develop the Oyster Gardening Program in cooperation with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Maryland Sea Grant, and the Oyster Recovery Partnership. The program brings together experts and citizens to help enhance the Chesapeake Bay system’s stressed oyster populations  Read More ...

Remote Setting

Remote Setting is a method of producing seed that was developed in the Pacific Northwest. It relies on hatcheries to produce oyster seed up to the eyed pediveliger stage just prior to the time when the animals get ready to undergo metamorphosis, attach to a substrate and become spat  Read More ...

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