Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Grant Experiment

In February I was awarded a grant to test experimental oyster cages from Northeast SARE program (Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education). My experimental designs aim to use tidal flow to clean and tumble oysters. After facing a few hurdles tracking down back-ordered supplies, things are finally about ready go!

On Thursday I'll be heading back up to the Darling Marine Center in Walpole to set up the field site. We'll be dropping the anchors, stretching out the experimental longline, and putting out the three treatments.

I'm pretty excited to see how the two experimental cage types do. The first type uses a drum shaped oyster cage on an axle. The cage is meant to turn during the strongest flow of the tide, hopefully cleaning and tumbling the oysters.

"Tumbler Cages" constructed out of 20 gallon soda-syrup barrels, PVC pipes, oyster mesh, and foam floats.

The second type of cage tips during tidal movement, jostling the oysters and exposing them to the air periodically. Ideally this would prevent other species from settling on the oysters and fouling the cage.

I've been looking forward to getting this experiment going since I proposed it in November. I'll keep posting updates as the project progresses.