The new programme, created and administered by TCC’s Wakulla Environmental Institute, instructs students in the art and science of cultivating, harvesting and marketing oysters, reports Tallahassee.
Long-line oyster farming is much different than the tonging method used locally, and was not legally possible in Florida until about six months ago.
Prior to July 2013, oyster harvesting was primarily restricted to oysters growing wild in beds on the sea floor. Until then it was illegal for anyone to use the entire water column for aquaculture, restricting water use to only six inches above the bottom. On July 1, 2013 the law changed, allowing full use of the water column for aquaculture.
The new law presented an opportunity for Florida to introduce a different process for cultivating oysters. “This is an experiment,” said WEI executive director Bob Ballard.
“The purpose of the programme is to bring jobs and money to Wakulla and the surrounding areas. If successful, this will change the economic face of Wakulla County.”