Aquaculture: San Diego
The Port of San Diego has initiated an oyster nursery research project as part of efforts to explore new aquaculture and blue technology opportunities.
Specifically, it has identified oyster nurseries as a potential aquaculture use in San Diego Bay and has initiated a project to grow small amounts of oysters in a controlled environment to test them against health standards. An oyster nursery would grow oysters from seeds the size of pepper flakes to juveniles the size of quarters. The juveniles would then be shipped to oyster farms elsewhere to be grown to market readiness.
The first of six oyster test sites around San Diego Bay was established in December 2016. Each site will grow oysters to the juvenile stage in enclosed molded plastic baskets. Next steps include testing of water quality and the health of both the basket-raised oysters and wild oysters in the bay. This data will inform decisions about where oyster growing might be feasible in the future. The goal is to establish a health record that makes San Diego Bay permit-ready for future oyster nursery projects.
"There is incredible opportunity in the emerging field of aquaculture, and the Port of San Diego is seizing this opportunity to promote a core part of our mission – advance the Blue Economy," said Port Commission Chairman Marshall Merrifield. "We are growing oysters in the San Diego Bay as our first initiative, and exploring possibilities with the goal of serving as a champion and catalyst for new business ventures in this exciting field."
San Diego Port Commission Chairman Marshall Merrifield and Paula Sylvia, program manager of the port’s aquaculture & blue tech team, pull up a basket of juvenile oysters.
Photo/Port of San Diego