Fisherman uses aquaculture technique to grow oysters

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
18 September 2006, at 1:00am

CONNECTICUT - In a harbor better known for boating and cruises around Long Island Sound, a Cos Cob fish market owner is growing oysters. "It's incredible how fast they grow," Jardar Nygaard, owner of Fjord Fisheries said of the oysters he has begun cultivating in Cos Cob harbor. "They're like popcorn, they grow like crazy." Nygaard recently received a state aquaculture permit to grow oysters from seeds placed inside eight 55-gallon drums submerged in Cos Cob Harbor and attached to a boat dock in Beacon Point Marina. The setup is part of an "upweller" system that moves water through the drums and allows the oysters inside to feed off nutrients found in the harbor saltwater, such as algae. The drums also provide the growing oysters protection from predators, such as crabs and other threats. With this summer's warm weather, the algae have been plentiful and the oysters have thrived. Since he began in June, Nygaard has been able to grow one crop of oyster seeds to an inch or more in diameter. When they reach that size, he transports them to shellfish beds he leases in the deeper waters of Long Island Sound near Westport. There, the oysters sit at the bottom of the Sound where they fend for themselves against predators, diseases and strong currents that can wash them far away from the boundaries of Nygaard's shellfishing beds. If the oysters survive, grow to about 3 inches in diameter and Nygaard can still find them, they can be harvested and sold on the market. If everything succeeds, the oyster seeds he bought in June could be ready for the market in about a year, he said. Source: Southern Connecticut Newspapers