Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

National Seafood Month: Grand Isle Oyster Hatchery to Produce Year-Round

Supporting shellfish aquaculture in Louisiana

By Roy Kron, Louisiana Sea Grant

Officials with Louisiana Sea Grant (LSG) and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) recently celebrated the opening of the newly constructed Michael C. Voisin Oyster Hatchery on Grand Isle.

Construction on the oyster hatchery began in April 2013. The elevated and temperature controlled hatchery features a state-of the-art re-circulating water system that will enable production of hatchery-raised larvae and spat to occur year- round, significantly increasing the production capacity over previous years. The facility was funded through the Deepwater Horizon oil spill Natural Resource Damage Assessment early restoration process. 

“Oysters are important to the history and culture of our state,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham. “This oyster hatchery is a very important tool in rehabilitating the state’s valuable oyster resources in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.”

Since 1993, LSG has operated an oyster hatchery on Grand Isle in various locations. In 2005, the hatchery was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina and LSG moved its operations to the LDWF Grand Isle marine research lab, which allows LDWF and LSG to merge academic research projects and hatchery programs that benefit both the commercial harvesting sector and aid in management of the public seed grounds. 

“Louisiana Sea Grant has a long history of supporting our state’s oyster industry, and an equally long history of working in partnership with the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries,” said Robert Twilley, LSG executive director. “With this partnership, we look forward to entering into a new commitment of research and service that benefits our state’s oyster growers and harvesters.”

LDWF is responsible for operating and maintaining the new oyster hatchery facility. Through an agreement with the department, LSG will provide technical direction on production of larvae and spat and training for LDWF staff under supervision of Louisiana Sea Grant and LSU AgCenter bivalve specialist John Supan.  

Currently, LDWF deploys hatchery raised oyster larvae (Crassostrea virginica) on the public seed grounds through remote setting spat on-shell and by deploying free swimming larvae. Approximately 13 million spat and 400 million larvae were produced each year, on average, with past operations for use by LDWF in public seed ground rehabilitation projects. 

The new hatchery is capable of producing 1 billion Crassostrea virginica oyster larvae annually. Those larvae will be utilized by LDWF for augmentation of six early restoration cultch plants. Any excess diploid larvae will be used for various oyster rehabilitation projects on the public seed grounds.

Through legislation, Rep. Gordon E. Dove of Houma named the hatchery after the late Michael C. Voisin of Houma. Voisin, who passed away in 2013, was a respected leader in the oyster industry and served in many leadership roles including, Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commissioner and chairman of the Louisiana Oyster Task Force.

Related Posts

Virginia Sea Grant Launches the USDA and NOAA-Supported Aquaculture Information Exchange Online Community Platform

The Aquaculture Information Exchange (AIE) online community platform website is now live and open for new user registrations. The AIE represents a joint effort between NOAA’s National Sea Grant Office, NOAA’s Fisheries Office of Aquaculture, USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS), USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), and Virginia Sea Grant.

Read More >
Image of Capitol Hill with a bright blue cloudless sky and blooming cherry blossom tree in the right corner
Academia to Government

Sea Grant Announces the 2024 Class of the John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Sea Grant College Program (Sea Grant) is pleased to announce the finalists for the 2024 class of the John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship program. The 85 early-career professionals selected will be placed in federal government offices throughout Washington, D.C., and join the over 1,600 individuals who have participated in the program since its inception in 1979.

Read More >
Image of plastic debris on Oregon’s Clatsop Beach by Tiffany Woods | Oregon Sea Grant.

Sea Grant announces funding opportunities to support community-engaged marine debris removal and prevention

Sea Grant announces $19 million in federal funding opportunities to address the prevention and removal of marine debris. These opportunities are a component of nearly $3 billion in targeted investments for NOAA in the areas of habitat restoration, coastal resilience and weather forecasting infrastructure through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

Read More >
Scroll to Top