Title: Bivalve bulletin
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00090511/00006
 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 2004
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00090511
Volume ID: VID00006
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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Full Text

Florida Clam Market Research:


January 2004
Volume VIII No.1


Market Research 1

Reports Available 1

st r

A lot of good information was provided at the Annual Clam Industry
Meeting held in Ocala this past November, some of which is summarized
in this newsletter issue. Missed the meeting? Either contact the DACS
Bureau of Seafood and Aquaculture Marketing at (850) 488-0613 or the
Shellfish Extension Office at (352) 543-5057 to receive copies of reports
and other handouts. The meeting and educational materials were
developed in partnership with the USDA Risk Management Agency under
their Targeted Partnerships for Risk Management Education Program.

In an effort to assist the Florida clam Findir
culture industry expand their markets, the provided
Department of Agriculture and Consumer represent
Services (DACS), Bureau of Seafood and Downs F
Aquaculture Marketing conducted focus sections
group sessions during 2003 to explore the conduct
best possible approaches. The market chain se
research project targeted two components of research.
the supply chain for farm-raised clams: 1) provide
Trade organizations, namely wholesalers, marketing
brokers, retailers, and foodservice Followin
institutions; and, 2) Consumers in large cites from this
(Atlanta, Orlando, and Boston). Whol
Specific information gathered from these strategy 1
two focus groups, or audiences, were as this grou
follows: 1) Identify and characterize the quality pi
national wholesale, food service, retail and competition
consumer buyers of farm-raised clams; 2) source n
Determine the means and the message well as w
content needed to positively influence finfish.
buyers; 3) Identify and characterize the clams is
socioeconomic status of national consumers experien
that influences them to purchase clams; 4) them. H
Identify current food preparation and eating margin
habits, 5) Determine key educational and quantities
marketing outlets; 6) Determine buying to rely c
habits and key market areas including revenue
geographic and seasonal demand for product should e
forms, quality, and price; 7) Identify Florida f;
informational channels that influence
purchasing; and, 8) educate
Identify sales mes-
sages to positively and pacb
should bi
.... sway consumers
c. -markets
purchasing decisions.

Industry Reports Available

Organizational Survey

Profitability Secrets

2004 Seed Suppliers

Triploidy Research

State Roll-Call

Aquaculture Survey

Group Findings
igs from focus group sessions are
in a report compiled by DACS
atives and marketers at Kerr and
research The report is divided into
to present research results
d with organizations in the supply
parate from results of consumer
Insights from this research can
guidance and directional ideas for
g Florida farm-raised clams.
g are some of the recommendations
esalers and Distributors The best
the clam industry can formulate for
p is to provide a consistently high
product with constant availability at a
ive price. All clams regardless of
lust compete with each other, as
ith other more popular shellfish and
Presently, consumer demand for
not sufficient for wholesalers to
ce any market pressure to carry
ence, clams must provide a good
and be available in sufficient
s and quality so wholesalers begin
n clams for a percentage of their
and profit. Further, the industry
exhibit at trade shows and promote
arm-raised clams at industry events.
od Markets The industry should
these retailers on how to sell, store
kage clams. In addition, brochures
e provided for high volume seafood
and chain markets to distribute to
Continue on Page 2

Pe a ry

Clam Market Research (continued]
customers. The brochures should be designed to focus on
the fun/social nature of eating clams, show recipes, and
educate consumers on the health aspects of eating clams.
Create and celebrate a Florida Clam Week!
Restaurants Target high volume seafood and chain
restaurants for distributing free samples of clams dishes to
consumers before they order food. Prepare brief educational
brochures for wait staff to familiarize them with Florida
clams, the health benefits, and different ways to serve
clams. Also, distribute table tents.
Trade Organizations The clam industry must assist in
identifying and understanding the consumer. Focus should
be placed on the following segments when designing
promotional materials: new entrants into the market,
current low volume clam eaters, young urban professionals,
younger children trying new foods, time-crunched couples
or families looking for interesting and simple dishes, and
health-conscious individuals.
Consumers Marketing efforts directed to consumers
should be focused on in-store activities. Efforts should
include the following: offer samples for consumers to taste;
enhance displays; provide recipes; use value-added
packaging by preparing clams for sale, ready to eat; and,
again, highlight the social aspects of eating clams. These
efforts should be focused on southeastern states and should
emphasize Florida clams. A website for Florida clams can
provide recipes, preparation tips, and, even link to sites
informing consumers where to buy them. Advertising
efforts should be on outdoor billboards near seafood
markets and 5 to 10 second radio spots. The best slogans
for promoting clams include: ExCLAMation!, Florida
Clams are Jammin and Florida Party Steamers.

10 Jecrets of Profitability Provided by Dr. Jerome S.
How important is profitability? By focusing on revenue, a
business owner will not automatically receive profits.
Maximizing revenues does not mean that you are maximizing
profits. Happiness is a profitable business!
1. Focus on costs to increase profits. Improving profits by
$10,000 is the same as increasing sales by $200,000 for most
businesses. What are some areas to look at to reduce costs? Try
advertising, communications, and benefits.
2. Incentivize each and every worker. People work harder
with incentives. You get congruence with goals of business and
workers. It also means less management. Work is more fun
with incentives.
3. Work smarter, not harder. Burnout happens to business
owners who think they can work harder and harder. The
economic reward system is not for labor but for smart work.
Use your mind to figure out how to work smarter.
4. Figure out what your customers need. The object of
business is not to sell your product but to serve your customers.
Ascertain what your customers needs are and then try to fit
your product into this need. Ask your customers if there is
anything additional that you can provide them.

Organizational Structures and Strategies
What makes a successful industry organization? To
answer this question, a study was conducted in 2003 by the
University of Florida to characterize structures of successful
and relevant agriculture and aquaculture organizations in
Florida and the U.S., and to identify revenue-generating
strategies that provide the resources necessary for these
organizations to succeed in meeting industry needs. The
information gathered from this study is available in a recently
completed report, O, gi,,:,, ,?ii ,, Structures and Strategies
for the Hard Clam Aquaculture Industry in Florida, which
provides suggestions, advice and options for organizational
development. Highlights from this report follow.
Of the 85 organizations identified and mailed surveys in
this study, 30 responded. Half represented aquaculture
industries and half represented agriculture commodities like
dairy, vegetables, fruits and poultry. Non-profit trade
organizations were the common structures representing a
majority of the respondents. Yet, these fell under several IRS
tax classifications. The remaining were structured under a
cooperative and one was a state agency.
Membership dues were the primary source of revenue for
these organizations. There were various types of dues, which
ranged from flat fees to production and acreage-based
assessments, as well as check-off programs and marketing
orders. A fixed rate dues, with an average of $100, was
reported by the majority using a voluntary dues structure.
Several implemented a dues structure that was assessment
based but had fixed rate categories and some were based
purely on an assessment. Regardless, all were implemented
on an honor basis. The organizations utilizing mandatory
structures represented large industries and strong
memberships. Additional methods of generating revenue are
included in the report. Continue on Page 6

Osteryoung, Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship
5. Find a mentor. Mentors do work. How to find a mentor?
Most people are honored to be a mentor. Only cost is an
occasional meal. If you try this, you will love this.
6. Get great employees. Employees are the key to any
business. Forget about training and hire for character. If an
employee or a customer gives you a headache, then get rid of
them. Great employees will make your job easier and better. Pay
employees as much as you can, within reason.
7. Do not compete on price. If you can avoid competing on
price, you are better off (but this is hard). Compete on quality.
Compete on service. Determine how to price your product.
8. Do take vacations. Avoid burnout. There are examples of
entrepreneurs who did not take time off. Take long vacations.
When you forget what day it is, that's a fine vacation.
9. Focus on customer service. Always try to exceed your
customers expectations. Do a customer satisfaction survey.
Customer service starts when the customer calls in until the
product is delivered. Learn to deal with an irate customer.
10. Understand financial statements. What is the purpose of
these things? Find out how important these statements are.
Master how to read financial statements!


Page 2 lanuary 2004

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

Atlantis Clam Farm H, N
Merritt Island, FL 32952
Contact: Barry Moore
(321) 453-2685
Bay Shellfish Co. H, N
Terra Ceia, FL 34250
Contact: Curt Hemmel
(941) 721-3887 or 722-1346 (Fax)
bayshellfish@earthlink net
Brewer's Clams H, N
Cocoa, FL 32927
Contact: Gray Brewer
(321) 632-4920
The Clam Bed H, N
Wabasso, FL 32970
Contact: Bill Thompson
(772) 589-6138
Cedar Creek Shellfish Farms H, N
New Smyrna Beach, FL 32169
Contact: Mike Sullivan
(386) 426-01 13 or 847-3202 (cell)
Cedar Key Raceways N
Cedar Key, FL 32625
Contact: Jim Hoy
(352) 543-6970
Clams R' Us N
Vero Beach, FL 32968
Contact: Joe Weissman
(772) 538-1051
Cole's Clam Nursery N
Placida, FL 33946
Contact: Dot Cole
(941) 697-3181

First Choice Clam Seed N
Titusville, FL 32796
Contact: Greg Nelson
(321) 267-1667
(321) 383-1324 (after 7PM)
David Grudin N
Nettles Island Marina
Jensen Beach, FL 34996
Contact: David Grudin
(352) 250-0667
Harbor Branch Clams H, N
Fort Pierce, FL 34946
Contact: Joe Weisman
(772) 538-1051
or) Richard Baptiste
(772) 465-2400, ext. 414
Hydrosphere Research H
Alachua, FL 32615
Contact: Craig Watts
(386) 462-7889
craig@hydrosphere. net
Kibbe & Company N
St. James City, FL 33956
Contact: John Pfeiffer
(954) 436-8828 or
(239) 707- 5322 (cell)
Matt's Clams N
Cedar Key, FL 32625
Contact: Matt Kennedy
(321) 724-8712 or 266-3704 (cell)
Orchid Island Shellfish Co. N
Sebastian, FL 32958
Contact: Ed Mangano
(772) 589-1600
or) Kevin Soderberg
(321) 508-6200

Pelican Inlet Aquafarms H, N
Cape Coral, FL 33914
Contact: Edwin Connery
(888) SAY- CLAM
(239) 283-2002
R & I Mariculture H, N
Mims, FL 32754
Contact: Jed Illig
(321) 267-1716
Research Aquaculture H, N
Jupiter, FL 33458
Contact: Tom McCrudden
(561) 702-8159
or) Alligator Point, FL 32346
Contact: Andy Arnold
(850) 510-3866
Santa Fe Mariculture H, N
Sebastian, FL 32958
Contact: David Clowdus
(321) 733-5503
SeaPerfect H, N
Charleston, SC 29422
Contact: Knox Grant
(800) 728-0099
Southern Cross Seafarms H, N
Merritt Island, FL 32953
Contact: Bill Leeming
(321) 459-1022
or) Cedar Key, FL 32625
Contact: David Grudin
(352) 543-5980

RESEARCH UPDATE: Use of Triploidy to Enhance Production of Molluscan Shellfish
Most sexually reproducing organisms are diploid, meaning they have two sets of chromosomes. Their offspring inherit
one set of chromosomes from the maternal gamete (the egg) and one set from the paternal gamete (the sperm). Diploidy
results when fertilization unites the two. Triploids are organisms with three sets of chromosomes in each cell. Therefore,
triploidy is typically an unnatural state, as it must be produced artificially. Two features prevail in triploid organisms: 1)
triploid cells are larger to accommodate the increase in DNA, and 2) triploids have poorly developed gonads producing far
fewer gametes than diploids. In the early 1970s, triploidy was proposed as a genetic modification of potential value in aqua-
culture. The benefits derive indirectly from the fact that triploid organisms generally are sterile. Therefore, triploidy can be
beneficial when reproductive output of the animal causes a decline in product quality, causes mortality, or impedes growth.
Triploid Oyster Culture
Triploid mollusks were first produced at the University of Maine in the early 1980s. Methods to induce polyploidy were
developed using oysters, soft shell clams, bay scallops, and hard clams. However, at that time the concept of triploid shellfish
was new and its utility obscure. Hatcheries in the Northeast were still small and experimentation of this sort was not easily
incorporated into commercial facilities. By contrast, hatcheries were a well-established component of the oyster industry in
the Pacific Northwest, an area that grows the non-native Pacific oyster. Because it is more fecund than the American oyster, it
is a less marketable product when sexually mature. In addition, summer mortality, a phenomenon probably associated with
the extraordinary reproductive effort of Pacific oysters, was a problem in some bays in Puget Sound. Triploidy offered a
solution. Researchers and commercial interests worked together in the development and utilization of triploids for the West
Coast industry. Today, 50-60% of the total production of Pacific oysters are triploids.
Oyster culture in the Southeast began receiving attention in the early 1990s due to the high growth rates achieved in
warmer water temperatures. Growth of the American oyster in Florida is more rapid than in any other region of its range.
Yet, high water temperatures are not totally beneficial and can actually debilitate oysters by prolonged spawning. Spatfall is
noted from April through November. With the increase in production of gametes, a decrease in glycogen, or "fat," content is
noted resulting in poor meat quality. To evaluate the potential of triploidy on performance of oysters cultured in subtropical
waters, diploid (2N) and triploid (3N) seed were planted on a training site in Apalachicola Bay and grown in polyethylene
bags supported by rebar racks during 1991-2. After 12 months, both groups had shell lengths exceeding 3 inches and similar
survivals (63%). On the other hand, weight (whole and meats) measurements and condition indices were significantly
different between 2N and 3N oysters during the spawning
season of the second year. These differences are shown here.
Prolonged spawning may also contribute to reduction in
disease resistance due to elevated stress which, when coupled
with increased prevalence of pathogens, results in annual .
mortalities as high as 60% of the adult oyster stocks. This
was suggested in the Apalachicola study and evaluated in
follow-up trials conducted during 1994-5 in Cedar Key.
Triploid oysters showed lower bacterial levels, including
Vibrio, than diploids. Triploids may have better host defenses
since energy allocated to reproduction in diploids may be
y loctionDiploid oysters on the left and triploid oysters on the right
utilized by triploids for other metabolic functions, after 58 weeks in culture atApalachicola, September 1992.
Triploid Clam Culture
In contrast to oysters, there is limited information regarding the value of triploid hard clams to the industry along the
East Coast. Inconclusive results were found in preliminary studies of ploidy induction conducted in New Jersey and South
Carolina. In Florida, the need for increased growth or meat quality is minimal in cultured clams. However, there is a need
for increased stress (for example, heat) resistance in subtropical waters where there is an autumnal as well as a spring spawn,
meaning that clams go through two to three spawning events prior to harvest. Combined summer environmental stresses of
heat and low food availability following spawning in Florida waters may be the underlying cause of increased mortality.
Through joint funding from the USDA Agricultural Research Service and Florida Sea Grant, researchers at Harbor Branch
Sources of Info n Oceanographic Institution and the
Sources of Information ,University of Florida will begin this
Stan Allen, Sandra Downing and Ken Chew. 1989. Hatchery Manualfor Producing Triploid
Oysters, University of Washington, Washington Sea Grant Program (WSG 89-3). 27 pgs. year investigating triploidy, a basic
Leslie Sturmer, David Vaughan and Stan Allen. 1993. The potential of triploidy in enhancing breeding technique, for improvement
oyster culture in Florida, World Aquaculture Society Conference Abstracts, pp. 47-48. of hard clam production in subtropical
John Scarpa, Leslie Sturmer, Everette Quesenberry and David Vaughan. 1996. Performance of waters. More to follow in future issues
triploid oysters grown by Project OCEAN participants, J. Shellfish Research 15: 512-3. of The Bivalve Bulletin.

Paue, 4 Tannarv 2004


State Roll Call A quick insight on the condition of the hard clam culture industry, market prices and
demand along the East Coast of the U.S. provided by aquaculture extension specialists

_.__ Quahogs are
both farmed and
*. n harvested from the
wild, and are not
differentiated in the Northeast markets.
Quahog prices for littlenecks have taken
a significant nosedive since 9/11 and the
synchronous tightening of the stock
market. Prior to that time, growers and
harvesters were getting between $0.15-
0.24 per piece with an average of about
$0.24. This past year, prices were
between $0.10-0.18 with an average
around $0.14. The problem with lowered
clam prices is increasing supply coupled
with decreased demand associated with
a decline in disposable income. To
counteract this, there is a concerted
effort to change business structures, to
expand markets, and to develop branded
products. The industry is also actively
discouraging new entrants.

Rhode Island
Wild harvest is the
State's primary product.
" "" Things got so bad in the fall
that harvesters went on
strike for a few days to protest the low
prices. Yet, the state is actively trying to
expand its aquaculture sector and is
promoting new development. Since
reliable technology does not exist to
raise quahogs cost-effectively in shallow
subtidal areas given the seasonal
conditions, new folks are focusing on
other species oysters, surf clams and
soft shell clams.
r Connecticut
Production has
S* greatly increased in a
decade from 146,250
bushels in 1990 to 335,084 bushels in
2000. In turn, value of littlenecks has
decreased by 25% because of market
flooding. Some shellfishermen have
targeted niche markets to increase value.
Value of larger clams is steady with
product readily sold to New York
markets. There is increased fishing
pressure due to migration of workers
from the failed lobster and oyster
fisheries. Fewer new industry members
are expected as most of the seed grounds
have been leased.

New Jersey
S<. The hard clam industry has
f lost about 15-20% of its
S,: growers over the past 5 years.
-/ Farming is much harder due to
"2- negative impacts from Brown
Tide and massive blooms of macro-
algae. Also, growth rates are much
longer than they were 10-15 years ago.
As for the market, the price is down by
30% and demand is off by 60%. Also
getting beat up in the winter with cheap
clams from Florida. No one is entering
the industry and some are now
considering leaving. Little is being done
about marketing with many believing
the competition is within the state and
not from the growing aquaculture
industries in the South.

-- Delaware
S, There is no commercial
hard clam culture in the state
S. although it is feasible in the
S coastal bays. All bottom
leases were eliminated in the
Smid-1970s because of
opposition from wild clam
harvesters. Prospects for reinstating
leases are slim due to extensive
shoreline development, conflicting use
of the bays for boating, fishing and other

|F- j--- Maryland
The industry is
small with about
eight growers
limited to the coastal bays. Due to the
small size and local marketing, no
problems have been encountered in sales
and growers are optimistic that the local
industry can grow. Several are part of a
cooperative that obtains funding from a
local rural development center. They can
borrow up to 80% for seed purchases
limiting their exposure while they get
established. The greatest current
problem is getting leases.

./" Virginia
.. Over the past
-- several years
prices being
received by clam growers have declined.
This decline began prior to 9/11. Most
growers believe the decline was a result
of two factors the overall economic
slide and increased product on the
market. Prices this past year have been
stable, with some growers getting a little
more than others by doing more
"marketing" as opposed to "selling".
The rush to enter the industry ended a
couple of years ago when prices began
dropping. Most growers are just trying
to hang-on, by becoming more efficient,
reducing plantings or by diversifying
(not necessarily in the clam business).
Despite the market conditions, the
demand is still strong. Supply is
available and not limiting.

North Carolina
Grower prices
trended down-
ward over the last two years, although it
started rebounding at the end of 2003.
Low prices and storm events have
combined to put several operations out
of business and have reduced the level
of interest in clam farming. As
evidenced by a recent ban on new leases
in Core Sound, a perfect body of water
for clams, the state has not encouraged
or supported shellfish aquaculture to the
extent required to develop a thriving
productive industry.
South Carolina
S* "" Although the
industry has gone
through growing pains,
it has grown with an increase in
fishermen entering the business. Since
9/11 prices are down about 25-40%.
Demand has also seen declines. Farmers
are attempting to increase their markets

"We have a coast-wide crisis of oversupply in clams that has depressed
prices by 10-30%. Because clams are more of a commodity crop, it may be
that efforts to identify brand awareness, source differentiation and niche
markets may have little impact on pricing. New markets need to be developed
to absorb current and future production capacity."
- East Coast Shellfish Growers Association Newsletter, November 2003

Page 5 lanuary 2004


Pan 6 aur 04TEBVLEBLEI

Organizational Development (continued]
The core of an organization is their board of directors.
This study indicated boards ranged in size from 5 to 38
directors, with an average of 14. Most were elected, and some
appointed. Over 80% had paid administrative staff with 1 to 4
full-time positions. Those remaining either sought partial
services or relied on volunteer time from members. Most
organizations reported having an open membership and over
half had representation from multi-states or multi-
commodities. Responding organizations ranged in size from
17 to 9,000 members. On average, membership represented
about 60% of the total industry. Although size related to the
size of the industry, it did not seem to have a relation to the
activities the organization participated in or services offered to
members. Services fell into three categories: lobbying/
advocacy, promotion/marketing, education/communication.
Respondents provided insight into key issues that needed to
be considered before developing an organization. Several
referenced obstacles that could interfere in the process.
Finally, respondents provided advice for aspiring
organizations based on their own experiences. Common
themes were: prioritizing issues, earning participation by
majority of the industry, gaining commitment of industry
leaders, and hiring a professional staff. Based on survey
findings, the report also provides several options the Florida
clam industry could evaluate in assessing how to organize
through a unified approach, including maintain status quo, join
an existing organization, or create a statewide organization.

Upcoming Florida Aquaculture Survey
It's time again for the Florida Aquaculture Survey which
is conducted every other year by the Florida Agricultural
Statistics Service (FASS). All aquaculture producers,
including clam growers, certified through the DACS
Division of Aquaculture will be contacted soon by
telephone and asked for information regarding their
production and sales in 2003. All information received is
considered confidential. Survey results, available in June,
will be used to measure and document the importance of the
clam aquaculture industry to the economies of the state and
its coastal communities. In the 14 years of FASS surveys,
clam sales have risen from $0.4 million in 1987 to over $15
million in 2001. In turn, clam production has increased from
less than 3 million to over 142 million. For information
about the 2003 survey, contact Jeff Geuder at (800) 344-
6277 or nass-fji a nl..\. u.\ gov.

180- Florida Clam Production and Sales
150- FRoduction 15
S120- Sales 12
120 12
o 90- 9
S60- -6
30 3
0 0
1987 1989 1991 1993 1995 1997 1999 2001

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