EFFECT OF WAVE ACTION, BIOFOULING CONTROL, AND DENSITY ON THE PERFORMANCE OF EASTERN OYSTERS (CRASSOSTREA VIRGINICA)
Type of DegreeMaster's Thesis
School of Fisheries, Aquaculture, and Aquatic Sciences
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To better understand the impacts of wave action on oyster performance and its interaction with other farming choices, triploid oysters were deployed utilizing the adjustable longline system at an oyster farm site near Deer Island, Mississippi. A full factorial experiment consisting of two wave action (natural, dampened) x three biofouling control (desiccated, power washed, submerged) x two stocking density (low, high) treatments was deployed at one high energy site. Higher wave action generally increased production quality metrics (cup ratio, condition, cleanliness) and dampened wave action generally increased production quantity metrics (shell height, whole wet weight). To maximize product quantity, submerged, lower stocking density treatments in lower wave environments and power washing, higher stocking density treatments in higher wave sites are recommended. For increased product quality in either a high or low wave energy sites, weekly desiccation and lower stocking densities led to the highest quality. In lower wave sites, the weekly desiccated, higher stocking density treatment seemed to produce the best combination of quantity and quality. In higher wave sites, the submerged, higher stocking density treatment seemed to produce the best combination of quantity and quality.