UF Oyster Recovery Team

Responding to the oyster fishery collapse in Apalachicola Bay, experts with the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and Florida Sea Grant will join forces with local seafood producers to find ways of restoring sustainable populations of the area’s world-famous oysters.

Karl Havens, the director of Florida Sea Grant, has been named to lead the University of Florida Oyster Recovery Team.

The recovery team has multiple priorities, including learning why oyster populations declined, finding ways to help them bounce back, and identifying solutions for social and economic impacts, Havens said.


Groups and Leaders

Environmental Conditions
Leader: Bill Pine

Fishing and Fishing Regulations
Leader: Mike Allen

Contaminants and Pathogens
Leader: Andrew Kane

Reef Restoration
Leader: Peter Frederick

Aquaculture Options
Leader: Leslie Sturmer

Leader: Brian Mayer

Seafood Processing and Marketing
Leader: Steve Otwell

Community Resiliency
Leader: Traci Irani, Angela Lindsey


Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012 — Informal Listening Session
Fort Coombs Armory, 5:30-7 pm

Residents and visitors to Apalachicola are invited to come out and share their concerns and needs. Full details are available at this link. The listening session is organized as part of the Healthy Gulf/Healthy Communities project.

Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012 — Data Reconnaissance Scientific Meeting
Apalachicola Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, 8:30 am — 3 pm
The Oyster Recovery Team has been divided into a number of working groups to address the multiple aspects of the problem. During 30-minute topical sessions at this meeting, the working group chair will briefly explain the purpose of their group; identify other team members on the group; and identify what data to date has been discovered related to the focus of their analysis. The chairs will then lead the discussion about data gaps that need to be filled, if any.

By the end of the day, each working group should have sufficient information to move forward with analyzing the available data and published materials.

Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012 — Update with the Community
Community Center, 1-4:30 pm
The Oyster Recovery team and the Seafood Management Assistance Resource and Recovery Team (SMARRT) will hold an update between the community and researchers, who have been collecting data and analyzing existing data to determine possible cause for oyster declines, locally and regionally. These folks will talk about what they have been doing, the objectives behind their work, any issues they have encountered with data quality, any results to date, and time frame for having preliminary vs. more complete results.

Wednesday, Apr 24, 2013 — Release of Research Findings
Community Center, 1-4:30 pm
The University of Florida Oyster Recovery Team will report the findings and recommendations from its study of the collapse of the 2012 Apalachicola Bay commercial oyster harvest in a public meeting on Wednesday, April 24, in Apalachicola.

Monday, July 29, 2013A Conversation About Oyster Aquaculture

Members of the UF Oyster Recovery Team with expertise in oyster aquaculture methods and economics will answer questions about all aspects of the feasibility of culturing oysters in Apalachicola Bay. This meeting is being hosted by SMARRT and any interested person is welcome to attend.

Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014 — Update on the State of the Industry
Community Center, 2-4 pm
UF Oyster Recovery Team fact sheet

The UF Oyster Recover team will initiate a two-step public meeting that will provide more complete and specific answers to the most pressing questions of the community. The October 1 workshop, which runs from 2 to 4 pm, will be a listening session where oystermen and community members can ask questions and identify their specific concerns. At a later date, the oyster recover team will hold a second meeting that will include responses from UF and agency experts to the questions and concerns raised at the listening session.

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