Winnegance Oyster Farm is committed to testing and freely-sharing new sustainable aquaculture techniques. We hope to find ways to make farming less energy-intensive, quieter, friendlier to wildlife, and more productive for farmers.
Field Testing the Viability of 3D-printed Oyster Farm Equipment (ongoing)
This project will build and field-trial 3D printed oyster bags made from four different materials in order to test their suitability for prototyping experimental sea farming equipment.
This project aimed to help sea farmers diversify their offerings by using a variety of oyster growing techniques to produce distinct products on a single site. Four types of equipment/handling were tested (lantern nets, floating tube cages, “straddled” oyster bags, and traditional floating oyster cages) each with differing exposure to depth, wave action, light, and food-sources. Oyster dimensions, appearance, meat quality, and flavor were measured over the course of the growing season.
A straddle-bag grown oyster
December size distribution
A lantern net grown oyster
Salinity of "liquor" in shells
The natural distribution of many macroalgae are highly light dependent (with species tied to a specific depth and light-period). This project used cage-shading as a means to prevent algal colonization of oyster cages by introducing dark conditions unfavorable to algal growth. Opaque-panel shades were highly effective at both preventing and removing algal fouling. Crop shading provides an environmentally-friendly, passive, and prophylactic approach to mitigating algal bio-fouling that has the potential to benefit all shellfish farmers using floating-cage systems, as well as other ocean-users and noise-sensitive wildlife.
These projects were supported by the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program. SARE is part of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture.