Nutritional quality and the physiological drivers of growth variation in eastern oysters

PI: Paul Rawson, UM School of Marine Sciences

Collaborators: Eric Moran, co-owner, Bagaduce River Oyster Co.

The eastern oyster is an important species supporting the current growth of Maine’s aquaculture industry, but there is a high degree of variance in growth among individuals within available stocks. This project’s goal is to test the hypothesis that individual oyster growth is maximized among the ones with highest growth during non-bloom periods, when more of the nutrition in the river is detritus-based. To accomplish this, Dr. Rawson plans to measure the individual growth of tagged oysters on a bi-weekly basis from March to October and compare those measurements with water quality aspects such as temperature, salinity, and turbidity.