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Growing Oysters from Small Seeds

A new publication from WHOI Sea Grant's extension program gives guidance on growing oysters from small seeds


Aquaculturists begin the process of growing oysters by buying juvenile oysters – or “seed” –  from a hatchery. Seed is generally harder to come by and more expensive the larger they get.  One way to ensure availability and keep expenses down is to purchase the smallest seed available – but there is a tradeoff. Smaller seed will require grow bags with finer mesh and added care to ensure survival.

A device called an upweller is a great way to contain seed while giving the animals access to lots of water flow and food. However, not all growers have access to the infrastructure or siting needed to set up an upweller.  A newly released Marine Extension Bulletin from WHOI Sea Grant and Cape Cod Cooperative Extension evaluated options for growing and maintaining smaller-sized oyster seed in nursery culture on farms as an intermediate step between the shellfish hatchery and typical on-farm grow out of oysters.

» Download the Marine Extension Bulletin