The oyster farm is the backbone of most off-bottom oyster aquaculture, and was for the Moriches Bay Project for years. ‘Off-bottom’ refers to style of plastic, porous, cages with plastic or foam floats that allows oysters to be suspended off the bottom of the bay. The cages are arranged on long lines that run side by side like corn rows in a field.
Oysters floating near the top of the water column have a better chance of survival since they are suspended high up and away from predators like crabs and oyster drills. They are removed from the danger of sinking into soft muddy sediment, and receive more oxygen and food from photosynthetic algae near the surface.
The F.L.U.P.S.Y. or Floating Upwelling System is the projects’ newest addition to the shellfish program. The FLUPSY is a shellfish growing machine. Typically built like a rectangular floating dock, the FLUPSY is able to grow up to 500,000 shellfish in a season by holding large amounts of shellfish in containment barrels suspended off the bay bottom. Then with a series of pipes and a pump it is able to draw nutrient rich water from the depths and pass it rapidly over the shellfish’s gills. The shellfish even become slightly suspended in the barrels due to the flow which allow them to grow at intensified rates. When trying to substantially increase the production of shellfish to be placed in Moriches Bay, there is no greater asset to the Moriches Bay Project than the FLUPSY.
2018 will be our attempt at an Oyster Bar. The location of this Bar will be at Webby’s Beach in the Town of Brookhaven.