According to NOAA Fisheries, oyster mariculture – or farming – generates $186 million annually in the U.S., and now Texans can take part in this emerging industry. In another step forward for the Texas oyster mariculture industry, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has announced the launch of online permit applications. The application allows aspiring oyster farmers to begin the process of starting up their oyster farm.
Although oysters are a longstanding culinary tradition in Texas, oyster mariculture was only recently legalized with the passing of H.B. 1300 in 2019. This new and sustainable industry will bring premium half-shell oysters to the market Texas-style. Along with the new industry comes new processes, new ideas and new questions.
To help those interested in oyster mariculture, Texas Sea Grant’s Aquaculture Specialist Mario Marquez is here to help. Located at the Oyster Resource and Recovery Center in Palacios, he is available to assist aspiring oyster farmers through all processes, from permitting to building farms, to support the success of this industry.
Marquez has extensive experience in aquaculture and oyster fisheries. He is currently obtaining his PhD in environmental sciences, focusing on the ecosystem benefits of oyster aquaculture in Oyster Bay, FL. He was also a founder and CEO of The Oyster Company, LLC., an oyster farm in Northern Florida.
“I’m ready to help anyone that asks for my assistance when it comes to growing oysters and help them succeed,” Marquez said.
Learn more about the legalization of oyster mariculture in the latest issue of Texas Shores magazine.
Mario Marquez, firstname.lastname@example.org, (850) 583-6801
Sara Carney, communications manager, email@example.com, (713) 435-9585