One of our members, Frank V. Saw the article below  and thought others might find it interesting.

The article was excerpted from  Tuckerton/Little Egg Harbor Leader 10/2/20

     Local clammers and oystermen who utilize aquaculture can apply for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 through the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  The program provides direct relief for agriculture producers who continue to face market disruptions and associated costs because of COVID-19.

     Jeffery Normant from the state shellfisheries bureau said the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Administration is in the second round of approval after sending the spending plan to NOAA.  The plan would allocate 50 percent of the funds received to commercial fisheries and agriculture, 35 per cent to processors and dealers and 10 precent to for-hire recreational and charter fleets.

     In another development, 19 oyster producers stood to collect their portion of $75,000 by providing up to 4,000 unsalable, farm-raised oysters bigger than 3 inches through a Sea Grant for oyster restoration.  The larger oysters will be purchased for 65 cents apiece and planted in open waters in Little Egg Harbor and the mouth of the Mullica River.  Rutgers and Stockton universities are overseeing the restoration projects.

     One shellfisheries council member said he was being asked, “When is an oyster too big to sell?”  Another member said he had sold plenty of oysters larger than 3 inches.

     Scott Steuber from the state shellfisheries bureau explained that small oysters are a niche market and once the shellfish grow beyond that size they are not viable for that particular market.  Therefore, he said they were chosen for the buy-back restoration program..

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Rick Bushnell