Monthly Archives: January 2013

Oysters in the News

Oyster Production in Apalachicola Bay Decliningoyster

Those of us in here in southwest Florida may not be aware of the environmental challenges facing Apalachicola Bay, one of the most productive estuaries in Florida.

Apalachicola Bay supports a world famous oyster fishery, producing just about all of the oysters harvested in Florida. But now times are not good for commercial harvesters. Severe draught and possibly other factors are now threatening their livelihood.

Click on the links below for more information.

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Sunray Venus Clams – Tasty and Nutritious

Did you know…photoclam

Sunray Venus Clams are a low-fat source of protein! A single 3  ounce serving (18-20 cooked clams) provides approximately 9 grams of protein. Another important nutritional feature of the sunray venus clam is that a single serving provides a good complement of minerals and vitamins.  A 3 ounce serving provides 45% of the dialy requirement of Vitamin B12, 10% of the daily requirement of Vitamin A and 4% of the daily requirment of Vitamin C.  Sunray Venus Clams also provide 40% of the dialy requirement of Iron and 10% of the daily requirment of Calcium.  Best of all…Sunray venus clams are delicious!!

Weedon Island Preserve Cultural and Natural History Center 10th Anniversary Celebration!

WIPCNHC 4When: Sat, Feb 16, 2013; 10 AM
Where: Weedon Island Preserve
Cultural and Natural History Center
1800 Weedon Island Dr NE, St. Petersburg, FL 33702
For more information visit, http://weedon10.eventbrite.com/#

Join the Friends of Weedon Island, Inc. (http://fowi.org) on Saturday, February 16th to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Weedon Cultural and Natural History Center! Weedon Island Preserve is one of St. Petersburg’s best kept secrets. The preserve is home to some of the best flats fishing and kayak trails around.  You can spend the day paddling through the mangrove forests, hiking the boardwalk and overlook, or enjoying the interactive education center.

The Celebration will be filled with commemorative speakers, special guided hikes, arts and crafts, video presentations, and an indoor scavenger hunt. Light refreshments and cake will be served at noon.

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Scallop Restoration News Flash

Recent News on Bay Scallop Restoration

Recent Marine Scene newsletter articles have highlighted efforts to survey bay scallop populations in southwest Florida and efforts to restore scallop abundance to levels not seen in several decades. The hope is that improved water quality and recovery of seagrass beds will set the stage for a recovery in local scallop populations.

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Scallop larvae ready to release. Photo courtesy Bay Shellfish Co.
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An adult scallop, ready for spawning, shows its characteristics blue 'eyes.' Photo courtesy Bay Shellfish Co.
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Scallop food. In these tanks are microscopic algae raised in the hatchery and fed to the scallop larvae. Photo courtesy Bay Shellfish Co.
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Booms are in place, ready for deployment of larvae.Larvae are also released outside of the booms. Photo by John Stevely
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Betty Staugler, Charlotte Co. Sea Grant Extension Agent, deploys larvae into the waiting booms. Photo courtesy Mike Braun
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Jim Culter of Mote Marine Laboratory deploys larvae into waiting booms. Photo by Jay Leverone

Experimental releases of scallop larvae raised in a hatchery are now underway. Scallops have been spawned and then cultivated for about 10 days until they reach the point where the swimming larvae are ready to settle out of the water and take up a bottom-dwelling existence. The hope is that by reducing their two-week free swimming larval stage, a much higher percentage of scallops will survive to settle.

Also, since they will not be floating about in the water for weeks they should settle out close to the release point and enable us to conduct surveys to see if the released larvae truly result in adult scallops. As part of the experiment, booms have been placed to temporarily constrain the larvae and hopefully ensure they settle where we can look for them when they have grown to a larger size. As part of the monitoring process, spat collectors have been placed to see if the young scallops settled near the release point. Spat is a term that refers to tiny scallops that have changed from the free- swimming stage to the bottom- dwelling stage that settles in seagrasses.

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