Saturday, March 28, 2015

Oyster Aquaculture is Rhode Island's Fastest Growing Industry

In an interesting piece about bacteria and oyster disease, (See probiotic oyster lobster article here.)we came across this nugget about oysters in Rhode Island.

With oyster aquaculture now one of the state’s fastest-growing industries, there is a lot at stake in keeping oysters healthy. New statistics due to be released in the coming days by the Coastal Resources Management Council show the economic value of the harvest of farmed oysters grew from $4.2 million in 2013 to $5.2 million in 2014, an increase of nearly 24 percent. 

Oysters are now a bigger product than quahogs in the Ocean State. 

rhode island oyster industry
Rhode Island Oysters

As to the Bacteria- that is interesting too. 

Eastern Oysters are vulnerable to many pathogens, including a natural-occurring bacterium, Vibrio tubiashii, that kills them when they are still in the larval stage. Oyster larva swim for several weeks before attaching to a surface, and it is during that earliest stage when they are most vulnerable to vibrio tubiashii. After considering different ways to try to prevent the bacterium from killing oyster larva, Rowley tried probiotics because they were sustainable, easy to use and inexpensive.

“These are live bacteria that provide a beneficial effect to the host,” he said. “These are the good bacteria, if you will. They’re a green alternative to the use of antibiotics.”

Rowley and his colleagues screened about 100 different bacteria before finding two, both from the Narrow River in Narragansett, that seemed to protect young oysters. After testing them in tanks at the Blount Shellfish Hatchery at Roger Williams University, the team developed a way to grow the probiotics and freeze-dry them so they could be stored for several weeks in a refrigerator. They can then be added to the tanks where oyster larva are growing.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

TV Tokyo Films Oyster Shell Recyling Program

We were excited when TV Tokyo reached out to us wanting to film our shell recycling operation. They would be highlighting the benefits of oyster restoration and recycling to millions of people on a program that is the equivalent of MSNBC. 

It was a busy day of filming that drove home two key points. First, this is a network of dedicated people that makes this happen- it takes a community.  There are a whole lot of people involved and working to improve our environment.

Curt Felix showed them around the oyster propagation zone in Wellfleet.

Our shell recycling coordinator Theresa Baybutt showed them various pick-up locations from around Boston.
oyster shell restoration
Picking up shells at a loading dock.

Erik Levy of Save-that-Stuff showed them around his Charlestown facility. Our main contact there- Eliana Blaine was away at the time.
oyster shell recyling in support of oyster restoration
Save That Stuff's Eliana with Green Shell Award Recipient Mark Sapienza of the Boston Langham Hotel.

Chef Mark Sapienza of the Langham Hotel talked about their green initiatives. (We recently honored him for his support of shell recycling.)

Mark Sapienza with the cameras
The team at Bergamot served up some delicious oysters and opened their restaurant.
Shucking at Bergemot in Somerville

Here is a photo of the TV star dining on some choice oysters.
Star of TV-Tokyo enjoying oysters.

And Dale Leavitt of Roger Williams University in Bristol Rhode Island showed them around his hatchery.

The second conclusion is that it is a lot of work lining up the perfect shot. 

Here is a link to the final program.  It is a fine product and may inspire some of the millions of viewers in Japan to start a program of their own. 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Intern Jobs on Boston Harbor Islands

This could be your office!

Ancient Oyster Shell Found on Spectacle Island
Spectacle Island
Or This...
Ideal Oyster Restoration Locations- Thompson Island Salt Pond and Wetlands
Thompson Island
 Or this... 
Peddocks Island  Boston Harbor
And you can't beat the commute!
On the Ferry to Boston Harbor islands
You never know who you could meet or see!
Peddock's Island Celebrities
Leonardo DiCaprio filmed on Peddock's Island

Applications are being accepted for National Park Service Visitor Use Assistants, Student Conservation Association youth crew  members to do work on Peddocks Island, and Thompson Island program staff and Green Ambassadors .  More island jobs will be announced over the coming weeks, so check the job postings often and help us spread the word. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Internships in Shellfish Aquaculture Virginia


Ballard Fish and Oyster Company

2015 Internship Program

Ballard Fish and Oyster Company (BFOC) ( is recruiting students/individuals for our 2015 class of interns.  BFOC is a vertically integrated shellfish aquaculture company whose focus is on the production of hard clams and eastern oysters.  Internships are available throughout the range of aquaculture production operations; including hatchery, nursery, and field grow out.

We will recruit up to 8 interns to fill positions ranging in duration from seasonal to yearly.   Individuals will be selected to work in areas of responsibility such as those listed below. 

Example internships include but are not limited to the following
·         All daily aspects of maintenance/operation in shellfish hatchery: spawning, larval culture, post-set maintenance and algae culture. 
·         Nursery culture of shellfish seed.
·         Maintenance of floating upweller system for eastern oyster spat/seed.
·         Grading of hard clam and oyster seed.
·         Working with spat on shell – setting and distribution.
·         Planting of hard clams and eastern oyster seed/spat.
·         Bed maintenance for hard clams.
·         Harvest of hard clams and eastern oysters.
·         Field husbandry on eastern oysters.
·         Internships are paid at a rate to be negotiated during hiring, and would vary with previous experience
·         Interns will work a minimum of 35 hour week, which may include scheduled weekends and holidays. 
·         Duration of internships is flexible, ranging from seasonal to year long.
·         All interns must be at least 18 years of age.
·         Ballard Fish and Oyster will provide housing for all interns.
·         The company does not pay for travel to and from work.
·         The company will provide any necessary gear for all tasks.
To apply, please send resume and statement of interest to Tim Rapine ( and reference the intern position.