Aquaculture North America

Features Shellfish
Oyster farming for fun


March 24, 2014
By Tom Walker

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A group of “four or five guys” who play together on a basketball team have requested approval for an acre’s oyster lease in New Hampshire. They reckon it’ll probably take a year or so to figure out if they can raise enough oysters to have a party, but they’re keen. They’ve got their sights set on raising American oysters just north of Adams Point in Durham.

 Ralph Jimenez, a 66-year-old resident of Concord and principal of the group, explains that they came up with the proposal – one of two applications going forward to the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department project at present – as a fun project. The team enjoys each other’s company and eating oysters.

 The other proposal is Bayside Oysters Farm LLC, under University of New Hampshire graduate student Jonathan Bunker, who has his eyes on some 2.5-acres in waters off Newington. Bunker is reported as also planning to produce American oysters, as well as growing some hard- and soft-shell clams at the site.

 If successful, the two units would increase the number of oyster farms in the region from six to eight. There are also reported to be a further six units for growing sea urchins, mussels and other marine species, according to Bruce Smith, a state Department of Fish and Game marine biologist.

 Smith is reported as saying that while the concept of a “recreational” oyster farm is unique in the vicinity, the license the co-op is seeking from the agency wouldn’t be any different than that for a commercial operation – it’s just that the group members want to eat their oysters rather than sell them.