Aquaculture North America

News Business Management Regulations Shellfish
Texas oyster farming open for business

September 1, 2020
By ANA staff


Texas is taking steps to develop an oyster mariculture industry in the state by opening up online applications for those seeking permits to operate an oyster farm.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) said the new oyster farming industry allows people to lease public waters on the Texas coast to grow and harvest oysters for commercial purposes.

“With natural oyster reefs along the Gulf coast struggling from hurricanes, flooding and  overharvest, oyster mariculture has become the answer for many people harvesting oysters in the Gulf of Mexico,” the TPWD said in a statement. “Due to the high demand from restaurants and the public, mariculture that includes off-bottom cage culture of oysters has gained popularity throughout the United States.”

During the 86th Texas Legislative Session in 2019, HB 1300 directed the Parks and Wildlife Commission to develop an off-bottom oyster mariculture program that would utilize cages to grow oysters. Oysters grown in these floating or suspended cages typically grow faster than wild oysters because food sources are more abundant higher up in the water column and the oysters are protected from predators. In May 2020, the Parks and Wildlife Commission adopted rules establishing this program.


“While we don’t expect oyster mariculture to replace wild harvest, this program should provide an opportunity for growers to produce a high-quality product destined for the raw, half-shell market. And, in doing so, the bays will benefit from the additional water filtration that oysters provide. We look forward to working with the public to help create successful oyster mariculture operations in Texas,” said Lance Robinson, Coastal Fisheries Division deputy director.

An extensive FAQ section, posted on the TPWD website, has been developed to help answer questions about this new industry and a GIS mapping tool allows users to see where proposed and permitted oyster mariculture sites will be located in Texas bays. Applicants can go online to download the permit application packet or email to have one mailed. Local contact information for Coastal Fisheries field offices are also available for additional information or questions.


Print this page


1 Comment » for Texas oyster farming open for business
  1. Jason fregia says:

    yeah sounds easy just wait till people apply for the permits and if they get the permits then they get to enjoy an law enforcement officer standing over their shoulder 24/7 doing surprise inspections ,I know and have had dealing with Lance Robinson personally even sued him in a US Federal Lawsuit , he lies and will say one thing then lie that he didn’t say it ,he is a true bureaucrat and completely untrustworthily person as all are in TPWD .doesn’t matter what the state leaders 86th Texas Legislative Session pass as law ,TPWD pull the plug shutdown everything at their discretion as soon as they want to and TPWD mentality about aquaculture in Texas is more about control and interference so that its too difficult wont happen read the attached letter from someone tried and tried for over 35 years

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *