The oyster aquaculture industry in southeastern Massachusetts primarily grows product using “bottom gear” which includes cages,
Potential benefits of growing oysters higher in the water column are greater access to plankton, greater distance from benthic predators,
warmer water temperatures, and ease of access in deep water growing areas.
In addition, surface gear can be periodically overturned, exposing oysters and gear to help reduce fouling. Some floating gear types can also be submerged to the bottom in anticipation of storm events or winter ice.
For these reasons oyster growers in the region became interested in this type of gear, and a comparison of bottom and floating gear was initiated through the Research Farm Network (RFN).
This bulletin addresses the results of that study and several research questions posed during it.
Woods Hole Sea Grant 193 Oyster Pond Road, MS#2, Woods Hole, MA 02543 (508) 289-2665 firstname.lastname@example.org