Fighting Biofouling


A photo from the demonstration project at the Horn Point Laboratory

Researchers at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science Horn Point Oyster Hatchery are studying ways to cultivate oysters as efficiently as possible. Small marine creatures like barnacles and bryozoans often settle on oyster cages and prevent a clean flow of water into the cages, causing sediments and algae to settle on the oysters. Otherwise known as biofouling, it can lead to reduced oyster size and requires a great deal of cleaning.

The research team will be collaborating with scientists from Maryland Sea Grant at a demonstration oyster farm at Horn Point and at commercial growing sites on the Eastern Shore. The group has been testing different oyster cultivation methods at the demonstration farm since 2016, and they have started testing preventative methods at the commercial farms. Maryland Sea Grant Extension recently received $149,000 from NOAA to continue this work.

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