Did you know that oyster aquaculture is illegal in Georgia?
It's hard to imagine, but depsite the best efforts of experts, Georgia lags behind its coastal neighbors when it comes to investing in what could be a financial home run for not only coastal communities, but the business that benefit from local seafood - yours and ours.
Which is why Inland actively supports efforts by researchers and regulators to make oyster farming a reality for Georgia. We're involved with the UGA's Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant's annual Oyster Roast for a Reason, a fundraising event celebrating Georgia’s first oyster hatchery. The event also helps continue the University of Georgia’s efforts to bring the oyster farming industry back to Georgia.
According to the UGA's Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant's website:
UGA launched the oyster hatchery on its Skidaway Island campus in 2015. There they spawn baby oysters, or spat, which are given to local shellfish growers who cultivate the singles on state-approved leases along the Georgia coast. At full capacity, the hatchery could produce 15 million spat,with an estimated harvest value of $3.75 million to $5.2 million.
The goal is to attract a commercial hatchery and businesses related to oyster production to the area, which would provide jobs and greater economic development opportunities on the coast.
In addition to having economic benefits, oyster production also improves water quality. One adult oyster can filter up to 50 gallons of water a day.