Lessons in Applied Shellfish Farming

Courtesy of the Providence Journal

BRISTOL, R.I.— If you want to become a shellfish farmer, a good place to start isn’t in a South County salt pond or a cove off Narragansett Bay, but in a class on dry land.

Dale Leavitt, assistant professor in biology and researcher, holds a small sample of oyster used for aquaculture operations.

Dale Leavitt, assistant professor in biology and researcher, holds a small sample of oyster seed used for aquaculture operations.

This winter and spring, in a lecture hall at Roger Williams University, as he has done here for the past decade, and on Cape Cod for the decade before that, Dale Leavitt,an assistant professor of biology and researcher, is teaching both aspiring shellfish farmers and those with deep experience in aquaculture the ins and outs of growing oysters, quahogs, scallops and mussels.

The course, Applied Shellfish Farming, is, as far as Leavitt knows, the only one of its kind in New England. There were similar classes in Maine and New Jersey, he says, but neither is taught anymore.

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Dale Leavitt is a Rhode Island Grant-funded researcher investigating quahog distribution in Narragansett Bay.

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