Cultchless eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica (Gmelin 1791)) culture on the Texas Gulf Coast: A feasibility analysis and comparison to traditional oyster fishing
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The feasibility of cultchless oyster (Crassostrea virginica ) culture was studied by a profitability analysis based on the production of 1.5 million market size oysters and was then compared to the economics of traditional oysters fishing. Costs of the production phase were estimated through trial grow-outs in Galveston Bay using laboratory reared larvae, the induction of cultchless spat via epinephrine treatment of larvae, and grow-out in floating tray culture. Losses at larval and spat stages were approximately 90%, but thereafter mortalities were slight (10%). Only 10% of the population was found to be lightly infected with the parasite Perkinsus marinus , even when they were grown in areas of high infection incidence (100%). Growth to market size was achieved in 10 months. The results suggested a small grower will need a minimum of four spawns to produce 1.5 million market size oysters. Hatchery costs varied primarily with the cost of algae production. Marketing costs varied with mortality, packing costs and alternate production options. The simulated net return after cash costs (NRACC) were achieved by selling the oysters in 200 count boxes as compared to the traditional boat sack. The costs of oyster fishing were analyzed in terms of production per boat per season and NRACC varied according to sale prices and number of boat sacks sold. It is concluded that the NRACC of oyster culture could be higher than that of traditional oyster fishing
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Ray, Sammy M (2008-05-08)
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