Shellfish aquaculture is a rapidly growing industry across the globe, and will continue to increase with seafood demand and an increasing human population. Florida aquaculture ranks 7th in total domestic production, and Southwest Florida is an important producer of farmed bivalves. Hard clams, oysters, bay scallops and sunray venus clams are currently produced in Manatee County, which is home to a shellfish hatchery, mutliple shellfish growers, and the Gulf Shellfish Institute.
Over 90% of the seafood consumed in the US is imported, so bivalve production addresses an obvious trade deficit and can boost local economies. Because bivlaves are filter feeders, shellfish aquaculture is also environmentally beneficial and can enhance water quality and seagrass growth. Bivalve aquaculture therefore creates a sustainable seafood source while providing important ecosystem services. Industry efforts to expand production are enhanced by cooperation with academic partners, who assist with grant applications, research initiatives and the transfer of data. Check out the UF/IFAS Resource Guide for Florida Shellfish Aquaculture for additional info!
- UF/IFAS Online Resource Guide for Shellfish Aquaculture
- Gulf Shellfish Institute
- National Aquaculture Association
- Florida Aquaculture Association
- FDACS Division of Aquaculture
- NOAA Sea Gant and Florida Sea Grant Aquaculture programs
Florida Sea Grant
(941) 722-4524 ext. 1826
The Gulf Shellfish Institute settles in Manatee County
Did you know that the U.S. currently imports over 90% of the seafood we consume?
And did you know that aquaculture supplies almost half of that seafood?
Commercial production of farmed shellfish is an expanding industry in Florida and has the potential to reduce the seafood trade deficit, create new jobs and revitalize working waterfronts. This has significant economic implications, but also provides some serious ecosystem perks. Florida
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