The “Oyster Team” working to build our industry includes: University of Maryland Extension; University of Maryland Horn Point Hatchery; University of Maryland Eastern Shore; Maryland Departments of Natural Resources, Health and Mental Hygiene, Agriculture, Environment, and Commerce; the MD Agriculture and Resource Based Industries Development Corporation; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Natural Resource Conservation Service; Philip E. and Carole R. Radcliffe Foundation and the Oyster Recovery Partnership.
University of Maryland Extension has conducted quality educational programs for aquaculture development for over four decades. These have included outreach training for the production of finfish, shellfish and aquatic plants. Our longest running programs have encouraged the production of oysters and clams, which are important resources for economic growth, employment and the environment.
We partner with many agencies, institutions and NGOs to support industry development. When state laws were revised to encourage shellfish aquaculture in 2009, a series of programs were put in place to form an “Oyster Team” to provide critical services to the industry. The Oyster Aquaculture Education and Training Program was initiated by UM Extension to provide educational products and services for technical training to spur industry growth. Initially funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the program is now supported by the Philip E. and Carole R. Radcliffe Foundation and the Oyster Recovery Partnership to build entrepreneurship for the expansion of our shellfish industry. To date, oyster aquaculture is thriving and becoming an increasingly important part of our seafood industry by supplying many new markets with high quality products.
We urge you to visit our website and our Maryland Aquaculture Facebook page for the latest information about our programs, products and services. We offer a range of evening and day-long workshops as well as in-depth short courses and other educational events that are designed to provide you with the knowledge and skills needed to help you enter this industry and develop the expertise needed for success.
Aquaculture Business Specialist
Seafood Production Team Leader