Remote Set of Crassostrea virginica as a Potential Means for Public Stock Enhancement in Alabama, and the Assessment of Larval Tank Setting Distributions
Type of DegreeMaster's Thesis
Fisheries and Allied Aquacultures
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The eastern oyster (Crassosstrea virginca) has been a widely studied and influential species for its economic impacts, benefits to local habitat and fauna, and its assistance in restoration. Hatchery reared larvae play an important role in remote set spat on shell, and farming. Understanding the spatial distributions of spat in setting tanks is critical to evaluating setting success and maximizing the value of the larvae added. This study indicates that both horizontal and vertical distributions play important roles in tank setting success. Once the spat on shell is deployed, it is important to consider different planting strategies based on the size and density of spat. Results indicate that there are negligible contributions to growing spat to larger sizes or deploying at higher densities for the ranges tested in this study. Storm events and predation throughout the study highlight the importance of site selection. Overall survival rates indicated that remote set could be a viable strategy for natural population enhancement in Alabama, such that site selection is made a top priority. A comprehensive budget analysis investigated the total costs for remote set planting, as well as the potential return value based on survival rates of the spat on shell.