Do I need to feed the oysters?
No, they’re incredibly easy. Oysters are filter-feeders, and they feed on naturally occurring algae, filtering and clearing the water around them with every gulp.
I can’t see any young oysters growing on the shells! And the ones I do see are growing slowly. What’s wrong?
Nothing. Most infant oysters are extremely small and take many months – sometimes years – to mature. That’s why this temporary home is so important – it gives them the best shot for a healthy start at life, free from the stresses and predators of the open waters. Some are easier to spot than others. Rest assured, in due time, the oysters will start growing.
I noticed all sorts of seaweed and green stuff growing on my cage. Is this a problem?
No. The growth you see on the cage is called “biofouling”. This is natural and does not hurt the oysters. It will make the cage heavier though, so that’s when the option to sink the cage comes in handy. If you want to keep it floating, simply brush off the growth or give the cage a quick clean (no soap). The oysters will appreciate a clean cage, but it’s by no means necessary for them to flourish.
Can bad weather hurt the oysters?
The simple answer is as follows: when your cage is floating, it’s open to the elements – wind, rain, ice, etc. If it’s out-of-site on the bottom, resting on its legs, the oysters are safe and sound. In the spring, summer and fall, it’s fine to keep your cage floating, but in the winter we highly suggest sinking it. Ice can kill the oysters.
Can I eat the oysters I grow?
No. It’s not safe to eat oysters grown close to shore in residential areas. Most of these waters are prohibited for shellfish consumption by Maryland Law.
When and where will the oysters be released into the wild?
After one year, we will return to establish a reef below your dock or nearby. At this time you can choose to renew this service and receive a new cage with a few hundred baby oysters, and a cleaner bay.
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