Title: Bivalve bulletin
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00090511/00003
 Material Information
Title: Bivalve bulletin
Series Title: Bivalve bulletin
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Creator: Florida Shellfish Aquaculture Extension, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Publisher: Florida Shellfish Aquaculture Extension, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Cedar Key, Fla.
Publication Date: January 2003
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00090511
Volume ID: VID00003
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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January 2003
Volume VII No.1


Global Competition

A New Look

Clam Forum Report

Seed Suppliers

Bag Suppliers

CLAM Software

New DACS Positions

Lease Contract Renewals

Washing Pilot Program


A New Look...


Imported seafood accounts for over 70% of
the nation's supply. At the same time, the U.S.
exported $3.1 billion of fisheries products in
2001. Nonetheless, seafood represents a
significant trade imbalance. Without imports,
the U.S. would not have a viable seafood
industry. However, burgeoning imports of
less-expensive Asian products have recently
presented threats to productive, domestic
industries. For example, imports of cheaper
Chinese crawfish are pushing prices of
Louisiana crawfish down and putting
harvesters and processors out of work. The
most visible case is fish imports from Vietnam
targeted to compete with U.S. farm-raised
catfish. Concerns over basa and tra frozen
fillets include mislabeling and unfair prices. In
the past year, the Catfish Farmers of America
brought their concerns to the International
Trade Commission, which looks at the impact
of imports, and to the U.S. Department of
Commerce, which investigates whether
imports are priced fairly in relation to their
production costs. The industry is currently
proceeding with an antidumping case against
Vietnam seeking high tariffs on imports as
well as quotas.
The National Aquaculture Association has
also joined the argument against foreign
aquacultured products targeting broader
issues, such as inferior quality of Asian
imports, lack of water quality monitoring and
HACCP in processing, and the inadequacies
of U.S. inspections on imported products.

In case you didn't notice, this newsletter has a new look. Previously
published as the Shellfish Aquaculture Newsletter, The Bivalve Bulletin still
intends to provide information on new issues, concerns, and trends at the local,
state, and national level to the molluscan shellfish aquaculture industry in
Florida. Another addition to the Shellfish Aquaculture Extension Program is a
new biologist. Rebecca Varner comes to this position from LAKEWATCH, a
citizen volunteer, water quality monitoring program. Rebecca provides support
to the extension program at Cedar Key and will assist in implementing a rapid
access network for phytoplankton identification this year.

The shellfish culture industry is not prepared
to compete with large volumes of Asian clams.
Some industry observers contend that U.S.
companies have already lost significant sales
in New York and other states to frozen
Vietnamese product. It has been reported that
these clams are sold as 200-count bags,
weighing 20 pounds, and delivered for 12
cents apiece. Yet, Vietnam is not in the Food
and Drug Administration's list of certified
shellfish suppliers. Currently, the U.S. only
allows Canada, New Zealand, and Chile to
import molluscan products. The federal
regulatory definition of molluscs includes both
fresh and frozen product forms. Freezing alone
does not generally eliminate food-born
pathogens. Consequently, Vietnam should only
be allowed to ship cooked clams into the U.S.
Furthermore, the FDA strictly defines cooking.
About 2 years ago, supposedly "cooked" clams
from China entered the country. This product
was merely heated enough to shuck them,
resulting in several reports of illnesses. The
newly-formed East Coast Shellfish Growers
Association is encouraging anyone to obtain a
copy of some sort of documentation (invoices,
receipts, and tags, if any) that would prove
Vietnamese frozen clams are in the U.S.
marketplace so that regulatory action can be
As a counter point, a recently released
seafood industry report scoffed at the notion of
protectionism. The report questions with
higher labor and capital costs and more
stringent regulations, will U.S. producers be
able to compete with imports? Rather, the
report advises that U.S. producers will need to
be more technically efficient, make quality
paramount, and learn how to market their
(Sources: SeaFood Business Magazine; The Catfish
Journal; 2002 Annual Report on the United States
Seafood Industry, H.M. Johnson & Associates,
Jacksonville, Oregon; East Coast Shellfish Growers
Association Web Site, http://seacademic.harvard.edu)

4` 1 s I


So what do catfish, strawberries, and fancy swordtails all have in common? Each have effective growers organizations that provide
support to their industry through marketing and promotional efforts, research and educational programs. Representatives from each
of these commodity groups met with clam growers last November in Tampa to share information on the challenges of starting a suc-
cessful organization. Here is a summary of what was presented as well as recommendations made by these groups to the Florida
clam aquaculture industry.

The Catfish Farmers of America
Mike McCall, Editor The Catfish Journal
7M Catfish is the largest
NT. aquaculture industry is
the U.S. Formed in
1968, the Catfish
k i Farmers of America
(CFA) represents about 900 members in
7 states. A $40 membership fee is
charged. To further fund the
organization, the CFA looked to the
lowest (in terms of numbers), common
denominator the feed mills. A
voluntary program was established, with
no oversight, in which a tax of $6 is
applied per ton of feed. This generates a
$4 million annual budget for advertising
and public relations. During the 1990s,
the CFA formed The Catfish Institute
(TCI), which serves as their marketing
arm. Initial campaigns were aimed at
promoting "USA Farm-Raised." Today,
the catfish industry is facing their
lowest prices in 15 years. TCI is now
focused on new programs, such as
introduction of catfish to food
organizations, culinary institutes, and
schools. The CFA has also hired an
advertising agency for public relations,
primarily focusing on publications.
With overwhelming help from congress
and federal legislation, the CFA has
facilitated interstate commerce. Other
key benefits provided by the
organization include their monthly
publication, The Catfish Journal, and
annual trade shows.
Recommendations: Form an
organization that will focus on Florida
clam growers, who can promote
"Florida Clams" to the rest of the U.S.
and other countries.

This forum was sponsored by the USDA
Risk ManagementAgency (R A4).

Florida Strawberry Growers Association
Chip Hinton, Executive Director
This group tried twice to
t organize growers prior to
achieving success. The
Florida Strawberry Growers
Association (FSGA) started
out in 1982 with $11,000
from a previous organization. Today,
130 members, representing 90% of the
state's growers, pay an assessment of 2
cents per flat at the packaging plant to
fund their organization. In turn, the
handlers, or buyers, match 2 cents per
flat. However, the assessment provides
only 25% of the FSGA's income. In the
late 1980s, the FSGA sought a federal
market order for research and
promotional efforts. The industry's
biggest problem was the lack of plant
varieties specifically developed for
Florida. Today, over two-thirds of the
cultivars used are of Florida origin.
Further, the FSGA administers the
Florida Strawberry Patent Service, which
holds a licensing agreement to market
these varieties and to collect royalties.
The industry's increase in value from
$38 million in 1985 to $175 million
today is attributed to the FSGA's
aggressive and comprehensive marketing
campaign. Their motto "making a
commodity a community" reflects the
association's additional member
services, such as funding for migrant
housing, Greenbelt issues, property
rights, environmental regulations, credit
card program, worker's comp program,
youth scholarship program, and socials.
Recommendations: Identify priorities
and set 30% of association profit to
marketing and research goals. Develop
programs that are identifiable. Invest in
educational and promotional programs at
trade shows, festivals, state fairs, and
publications. Target research and
promote legislation aimed at problems in
clam production. Finally, create a strong
volunteer base.

Florida Tropical Fish Famners Association
David Boozer, Executive Director
In 1964, tropical fish
r farmers in the state
Established a purchasing
cooperative (non-profit) to
,- make supplies available to
members. However, poor
management resulted in financial failure.
The co-op store was restructured in the
mid-1970s as a for-profit corporation,
resulting in the formation of the Florida
Tropical Fish Farmers Association
(FTFFA). Today, over 170 members pay
association dues of $75 per year, which
includes a stock certificate. Profits from
the FTFFA store also fund research. In
addition, royalties from fish shipping
boxes go to administration, marketing,
and research. The association hosts an
annual trade show at which over 700
species of ornamental fish are judged for
size, color, and commercial appeal. These
shows have been successful in promoting
"locally grown" fish, which are healthier
and hardier than imports.
Recommendations: Need common issues
to organize clam growers. Further, the
organization must exercise persistence
and selectivity when identifying
important industry issues to pursue. Then,
the key to industry involvement is finding
a specific niche to generate funds for
addressing these causes.

The Clam Growers Forum allowed
participants an opportunity to meet and
discuss ongoing development of local
clam growers associations. This forum
was the first in a series of educational
workshops to introduce clam growers to
successful agricultural industry
organizations. Funding from the USDA-
RMA through their Targeted Commodity
Partnerships Program, will be used to
conduct an assessment of these
organizations, characterizing their
structures, and identifying strategies to
provide resources needed to solve
common industry problems.

Page 2 January 2003


2003 Clam Seed Suppliers

These hatchery and nursery operations are supplying hard clam, Mercenaria mercenaria, seed to Florida growers this
year. Contact these suppliers for information on seed sizes, price, color variations, and availability.

Atlantis Clam Farm H, N
Merritt Island, FL
Contact: Barry Moore
(321) 453-2685
Bay Shellfish Co. H, N
Palmetto. FL
Contact Curt Hemmel
(941 1721-3887 or 722-1346 (Fax)
bayshellfishT'earthlinl< net
Brewer's Clams H, N
Cocoa. FL
Contact Gray Brewer
(321 632-4920
The Clam Bed H, N
Wabasso. FL
Contact Bill Thompson
(772) 589-6138
Cedar Creek Shellfish Farms N
New Smyrna Beach. FL
Contact Mike Sullivan
(386 426-0113 or 847-3202 (cell)
Cedar Key Raceways N
Cedar Key. FL
Contact Jim Hoy
(352) 543-6970
Clams R' Us N
Vero Beach. FL
Contact Joe Weissman
(772) 538-1051
Cole's Clam Nursery N
Placida, FL
Contact: Dot Cole
(941) 697-3181
First Choice Clam Seed N
Titusville, FL
Contact: Greg Nelson
(321) 267-1667
(321) 383-1324 (after 7PM)

David Grudin N
Jensen Beach, FL
Contact: David Grudin
(352) 250-0667
Harbor Branch Clams HlN
Fort Pierce. FL
Contact Joe Weisman
(772) 538-1051
or) Richard Baptiste
(772) 465-2400. ext 414
baptiste i'hbol edu
or) Cedar Key, FL
Contact Everette Quesenberry
(352) 543-6434
Hydrosphere Research H
Gainesville, FL
Contact Craig Watts
(352) 375-9004
pmeyer.'-zhydrosphere net
Journey's End N
Cedar Key. FL
Contact Russell Fulmer
(352) 543-8034
Matt's Clams N
Cedar Key. FL
Contact Matt Kennedy
(321) 724-8712 or 266-3704 (cell)
Orchid Island Shellfish Co. N
Sebastian. FL
Contact Ed Mangano
(772) 589-1600
or) Kevin Soderberg
(321) 508-6200
Pelican Inlet Aquafarms -H, N
Cape Coral, FL
Contact: Edwin Connery
(888) SAY- CLAM
(941) 283-2002

SH-Hatchery N-Nursery

R & I Mariculture H, N
Mims, FL
Contact: Jed Illig
(321) 267-1716
Research Aquaculture H, N
Jupiter. FL
Contact Tom McCrudden
(772) 225-0868
raiclams6'vhotnmal com

Rol-Nik- H, N
Grant. FL
Contact: Nick Hill
(321) 795-1038
Santa Fe Mariculture H, N
Sebastian. FL
Contact David Clowdus
(321 733-5503
SeaPerfect H, N
Charleston, SC
Contact: Knox Grant
(800) 728-0099
I or) Cedar Key. FL
Contact- Laura Adams
(352) 215-9995
Southern Cross Seafarms H, N
Merritt Island. FL
Contact. Bill Leeming
(321) 459-1022
or) Cedar Key, FL
Contact: David Grudin
(352) 543-5980
Stapleton Development N
Palmetto, FL
Contact: Mike Taylor
(941) 729-4878

Page 3


Page 4 January 2003 THE BIVALVE BULLETIN

2003 Clam Bag Suppliers

The Bag Lady
Suwannee, FL
Contact: Carole Johnsen
(352) 542-8183
Cutthroat Clams
St. James City, FL
Contact: Tammie Heeb
(239) 283-5800
Dorann Dixon
Placida, FL
Contact: Dorann
(941) 697-1835
Island Bags
Cedar Key, FL
Contact: Carla and Ray Ermel
(352) 543-5231

M and R Seafood
Cedar Key, FL
Contact: Rick Viele
(352) 543-9395
Playing Hooky Enterprises
Alligator Point, FL
Contact: Ed Bradley
(850) 349-2854
Quality Clam Bags
Chiefland, FL
Contact: Tracie Hathcox
(352) 493-9684

Fabric / Thread Suppliers:
Bayeux Fabrics
Spartanburg, SC
Contact: Tom Howell
(800) 446-961 I
Fablok Mills
Murray Hill, NJ
Contact: Sylvia or Sally
(908) 464-1950
Jason Mills, Inc.
Westwood, NJ
Contact: Tom Cosgriff, Jr.
(201) 358-6500
Middleburg Thread & Sewing
Warminster, PA
Contact: David Weitz
(251) 441-9300

C.L.A.M. Computer Logbook And Management
Software Package (Beta Version) and User's Guide

SThis user-friendly software program, based on Microsoft Excel, is available for
rIBM-compatible PC systems. The companion User's Guide provides an easy-to-
S .. follow explanation of how to use the software package as a tool to enhance record
S keeping and inventory management for a commercial clam culture operation. The
Software is composed of various modules, or worksheets, that allow a grower to
Track clams from the original seed purchase, through nursery and growout

planting, to final harvest. The software also provides the grower with the ability to
account for operating expenses and capital purchases. In addition, a map feature
provides the user with a means to maintain up-to-
date visual representation of the location of clam
plantings on the lease site. The information provided by the software will be useful C.L.A.M.
for day-to-day business management decisions, periodic loan application information
requirements, and the documentation of changes in inventory that may be needed
for crop insurance and other crop assistance programs. r ,'
The C.L.A.M. software program is initially being released as a Beta Version. To O
acquire a FREE copy of the package, interested growers are being asked to
participate in a training session. Sessions will be scheduled in Levy County during
February, in Dixie County during March, in Franklin County during April, in
Charlotte and Lee Counties during May, and in Brevard and Indian River Counties
during June. This will allow ample time for growers to test and evaluate the software
prior to final release. Contact the Shellfish Aquaculture Extension Office for more
information on these training sessions.

Page 4 January 2003


Page 5 January 2003 THE BIVALVE BULLETIN


The first national census of aquaculture was conducted by
the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in 1998. Survey
results revealed that molluscs (oysters, clams, mussels)
accounted for $89 million in sales, making shellfish the
second highest valued aquacultured product sold by category
in the nation. Clam production, including hard and manila,
was valued at $50 million. By state, Florida ranked first in
U.S. production of hard clams (76 million), followed by
Virginia (70 million), and New Jersey (9 million). However,
in terms of value of sales, Florida was second with $9.5
million reported, trailing Virginia sales of $11 million.

This year the USDA National Agricultural Statistics
Service is requesting aquaculturists to participate in the 2002
census of agriculture. Clam growers should have received a
report form in the mail. Questions focus on obtaining key
information such as acreage used, crop production, product
sales, and operator characteristics. Data provided by
individual growers will be held strictly confidential by law
and will be published only in geographical summaries. The
census of agriculture is an important tool for assessing trends
and determining current needs of growers. Congress, as well
as state and local governments, use the census to evaluate and
propose policies and develop farm programs to protect and
promote U.S. agriculture. Further, legislators and researchers
use state and county-level data to define problem areas and
help growers recover from specific problems.

So return your report by February 3! It's actually the law.
The report should take about 5 minutes to complete. If you
did not receive a form, call 1-888-4AG-STAT to make your
farm count.


The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Service
(DACS) recently established two new positions to provide
technical assistance and support to the shellfish aquaculture

Division of Animal Industry An aquatic veterinary
position was developed to serve as a liaison between
industry, researchers, and government. Duties may include
the reporting of disease outbreaks for specific diseases or
pathogens or unusual events, sources of professional
assistance from qualified veterinarians, input to national and
state aquatic animal health policy issues, and the
development and release of notices, fact sheets and other
information. Dr. Denise Petty, D.V.M. comes to this position
from the ornamental fish industry where she was a staff
veterinarian for a wholesale facility for over six years.
Stationed at the DACS office in Bartow, Dr. Petty can be
reached by phone at (863) 519-8663 or by E-mail at
pettvb doacs.state.fl.us.

Office of Agriculture Law Enforcement After a 2000-01
pilot program investigating clam thefts in Florida, the DACS
has committed a unique position specific to clam aquaculture.
Although Investigator Dianna Ullery has been assigned to the
Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Field Lab in Cedar
Key, her position is responsible for law enforcement in all
counties in the state that produce farm-raised shellfish.
Investigator Ullery will implement compliance with the federal
and state shellfish regulatory guidelines pertaining to
harvesting, processing, and distribution. Eventually,
Investigator Ullery's office will acquire a boat to implement
compliance on state leases. Dianna is available for questions
regarding regulations and can be contacted at (352) 453-0615.
This direct line can also be used to anonymously report any


Lease Contract Renewals The instrument, or contract,
between a clam grower and the State of Florida, allowing for
the leasing of submerged lands for culture, is valid for a period
of 10 years. The lease term is effective from the original
execution, or signing, of the lease by the State. During 2003,
close to 200 shellfish aquaculture leases will terminate. One of
the contractual provisions states that the lease can be renewed
for an additional 10-year term upon the request of the
leaseholder. It further states that the renewal request must be
made in writing no later than 30 days prior to the expiration
date of the initial contract. Due to the large number of renewals
this year, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Service
(DACS), Division of Aquaculture will mail out notices to
affected leaseholders. The notification will inform one on how
to complete the renewal process, including the legal
documentation and forms. To report a change in mailing
address or for more information, contact Ms. Wanda Prentis
with the DACS Division of Aquaculture at (850) 488-4033.
Pilot Program for Shore-based Washing Facilities On
January 14, representatives from the DACS Division of
Aquaculture met with clam industry members in Cedar Key to
discuss a pilot program for washing clams at a shore-based,
certified aquaculture facility. Under review were the criteria for
participating in the program, the aquaculture certification
program, and the best management practices (BMPs) prescribed
in the program for designing and operating the facility. Under
the pilot program, washing activities will become an extension
of the harvesting process. The rationale, or need, for this
program was outlined in the October 2002 issue of the Shellfish
Aquaculture Newsletter. During the evening's meeting,
clarification of the criteria that harvesters must follow in order
to transport washed shellstock to a certified shellfish dealer met
with controversy. Based on public health considerations, the
washed product must be delivered immediately. According to
DACS, transportation time and distance are limited for the
harvester. Before the pilot program can be implemented in
Levy and Dixie Counties, approval must be obtained from the
DACS. If you are interested in participating in this program,
contact Mark Berrigan with the DACS Division of Aquaculture
at (850) 488-4033 or the Shellfish Aquaculture Extension

Page 5 January 2003


CLAMMRS Data Available

Just last year an ambitious project was initiated to bring
important water quality information to clam farmers. During
2002, equipment was installed at 9 stations in 6 clam-producing
counties; procedures for maintenance and calibration of the
monitoring probes were developed by the DACS Division of
Aquaculture staff; and, a web site to display the collected data
was setup. Unforeseen problems, such as equipment
malfunctions and extreme probe fouling, have caused delays to
the CLAMMRS Project.
Currently, "real-time" data collected at selected stations is
available at www.FloridaAquaculture.com. In the near future,
archived data from battery-operated stations, as well as data
gathered during 2002 for all stations, will be electronically
posted to this site. Data is not archived until it is proofed by UF
faculty using quality assurance procedures similarly developed
by the National Estuarine Research Reserves. Basically,
measured data is corrected for errors associated with equipment
failure, biofouling, or other problems. This ensures the data is
not misinterpreted so that management decisions are based on
sound information.
Another source of CLAMMRS archived data is the Shellfish
Aquaculture Extension Office. Monthly data for 2002,
displayed in graphic form, is now available for monitoring
stations located at the following lease areas: Gulf Jackson
(Levy County), Horseshoe Beach and Pine Island (Dixie

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County), Body A and Body F (Brevard County), and Indian
River (Indian River County). There is no data available yet
for Charlotte and Lee Counties. A "real-time" data logger was
deployed at the North Pine Island lease in the latter county
just this month. Also available from the extension office is a
review of the water quality parameters being measured and
their implications on clam production.

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