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Innovation tanks, drops a pump into one end, and opens the exit valve. The little “seed oysters” grow quickly, but they grow unevenly, even under identical conditions. To maximize growth, they need to be sorted and resorted from time to time. When they are about a quarter-inch across, they go outside to play. That is, they are placed in baskets with screened bottoms and suspended in wells in a floating dock, which gets the seed oysters deeper into the water to promote growth. Pictured here is a FLoating UPweller SYstem (“f lupsy”) developed by R ick y F it z hug h a nd Joh n ny Shockley at their Hoopers Island O y s te r A q u ac u lt u r e C omp a ny. HIOAC a lso prov ides upweller/ downweller units for use at dockside, as well as several machines to

speed up the sorting of oysters, a process that goes on throughout the grow-out stages. HIOAC equipment now is being marketed worldwide. The “grow-out” phase is where Mother Nature takes over the feeding. This is the point where most oyster farmers enter the process. Two kinds of farms have evolved: “bottom” farms and “water-column” farms. Bottom farms can be imitations of natural oyster beds. The farmer places some good cultch material on the bottom, introduces the seed oysters, and tends to their growth for two years. He churns them up and breaks apart clumps several times during the grow-out period. Water - c olu m n fa r mer s plac e

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June 2017 ttimes web magazine  

Tidewater Times June 2017

June 2017 ttimes web magazine  

Tidewater Times June 2017