North Island College, in partnership with Rising Tide Shellfish, will construct and field test a new oyster grow-out system which requires less labour than standard grow-out trays.
Project Dates: September 1, 2020 – August 31, 2021
Funding Amount: $25,000
Students Hired: 2
Researcher holds an oyster for a new grow-out system.
The British Columbia shellfish aquaculture industry is comprised of nearly 300 producers, most of which are small- and medium-sized enterprises located in small coastal communities. Pacific oysters are the most commercially important farmed shellfish in BC by weight and value. There is an immediate need for a new oyster grow-out system that is practical for farmers and improves oyster survival in the face of changing environmental conditions.
Rising Tide Shellfish (RTS) developed an innovative method for raising Pacific oysters that requires less labour than standard grow-out trays, and early testing showed much higher oyster survival.
In the first phase of the project, NSERC supported North Island College and RTS in the construction and field testing of a prototype grow out system. The initial prototype testing showed promising results with regards to lower mortality and improved oyster quality. However, several challenges were identified with the practical implementation of the first prototype.
To attempt to address these challenges a second phase of work, supported by NSERC, was undertaken in conjunction with RTS. The updated system was designed to hold a larger number of oysters and to be easier to load, unload and remove from the water. Testing of the updated system is currently underway.
Scott McGregor, Researcher
Scott is a professional Physicist with a background in physics, mathematics and environmental engineering. A lifelong love of teaching led Scott to return to instructing physics at North Island College in 2019. For the previous 15 years, Scott worked as an Environmental Scientist in the field of environmental engineering. During this time, he conducted and managed environmental investigations, remediation planning and hydrogeological investigations.
Logan Zeinert, Researcher
Logan hails from New Zealand but completed his master’s degree at Memorial University in Newfoundland and Labrador. Logan has extensive marine surveying and aquaculture research experience and is an accomplished diver.
Tel: 250-923-9700 ext. 7882
Erik Lyon, Founder and CEO, Rising Tide Shellfish
Erik is committed to growing Rising Tide Shellfish into a regional industry leader. He designed the innovative oyster grow-out system that will be tested during the project and will work directly with the researchers to develop and test the prototype.
Johnny Marshall, Student Research Assistant
Johnny is a second-year Engineering UVIC Dual Admission student at NIC. He's grateful that he has had the chance to be part of such an interesting design project with real-life applications. He is passionate about math and physics and will pursue a career in Civil Engineering after he transfers to UVIC and completes his degree.
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NIC partners with Rising Tide Shellfish on new oyster grow-out system