Oysters & Resilience Blog

Do you ever sit around and wonder what oyster related technologies have been patented over the years?

Do you ever sit around and wonder what oyster related technologies have been patented over the years? Every day you say? Well, you’re in for a treat. Here’s a sample of prior art from the oyster world.

An oldie but goodie. Here’s a 1969 patent issued to a Charles Voisin Sr. It’s the original oyster dredge, or scraper. Whatever we’re calling it these days.

US3608217A – Oyster dredging system – Google Patents

Another oldie: “Apparatus for freeing the meats from steamed oysters and separating the meats from the shells…” Developed for canning oyster meat, this one uses a rotary drum and high pressure water jets to separate meat and shells from steamed oysters. https://patents.google.com/patent/US2652588A

Here’s a shucking device of more recent invention. Ernest Voisin patented a method of shucking oysters and eliminating bacteria via high pressure. I’ve actually seen one of these in action (and sampled a fair amount of product). https://patents.google.com/patent/US6537601B1

Hey, I know these guys! “An apparatus and method of reducing the effects of hydrodynamic forces of waves and water currents in coastal environments…” https://patents.google.com/patent/US7144196B1

I’ll try anything once… “ The invention discloses a marine product meat sausage and a making method thereof” https://patents.google.com/patent/CN101647579A

A method that’s gaining some traction here on the Gulf Coast, here’s a floating apparatus for growing oysters. https://patents.google.com/patent/US4231322A

This discussion wouldn’t be complete without one of the hundreds of aquaculture related patent applications that the Chinese seem to be cranking out by the day. This one is for cultivating a “ quickly-grown Portuguese oysters with golden yellow shells” https://patents.google.com/patent/CN103975879A

I hope you enjoyed this sample of oyster related patent documents. A Google Patent search returns over 95 thousand results. Maybe next time I’ll focus on some of the more novel applications of living oyster resources.

Mardi Gras Oyster Science Roundup

It’s carnival time in New Orleans. Who want to catch up on the latest oyster related papers?

Researchers in Australia, studying the impacts of environmental stressors on the Sydney rock oyster Saccostrea glomerata found that while larvae of adults conditioned to high CO2 concentrations fared better than the control group when exposed to high CO2 concentrations, those same conditioned larvae were more vulnerable to combinations of stressors. Stressors evaluated included elevated CO2, elevated temperature, reduced salinity and reduced food concentration. Larvae from the high CO2 exposed adults also had a higher metabolic rate.

  • Parker, Laura M., et al. “Adult exposure to ocean acidification is maladaptive for larvae of the Sydney rock oyster Saccostrea glomerata in the presence of multiple stressors.” Biology Letters 13.2 (2017): 20160798.

A group of researchers, including LSU’s Megan LaPeyre, developed a bioenergetics model to assess the impact of oyster restoration scenarios on associated transient fish species. Their model indicated that oyster reef restoration has a direct impact on transient fish biomass and that “favorable oyster population growth rate during early restoration years” is important for increased mean oyster biomass and that of transient fish species. The authors cautioned however that “The model also revealed that a transient fish’s diet solely dependent on oyster reef-derived prey could limit the biomass of transient fish species, emphasizing the importance of habitat connectivity in estuarine areas to enhance transient fish species biomass.”

  • McCoy, E., Borrett, S. R., LaPeyre, M. K. and Peterson, B. J. (2017), Estimating the impact of oyster restoration scenarios on transient fish production. Restor Ecol. doi:10.1111/rec.12498

A report prepared by Morgan State University for the VA Center for Transportation Innovation and Research evaluated the suitability of recycled concrete from roadways as a bottom conditioning material for oyster aquaculture. “Bottom conditioning” here means laying down a layer of hard substrate on which spat-on-shell can be laid. This specific report, which is part of a larger effort, looked for the presence of pollutants from recycled concrete aggregate samples. The authors found no hydrocarbons or water excractable SVOC. Concentrations of other regulated pollutants were orders of magnitude below environmental standards.

  • Chirnside, Anastasia EM. “EVALUATION OF WASTE CONCRETE ROAD MATERIALS FOR USE IN OYSTER AQUACULTURE-PHASE III.” (2017).

January 2017 Oyster Science Roundup

It’s the 2nd Day of 2017 and already there are some cool papers coming out.  Here are a few that caught my eye.
  • Researchers at TX A&M in Corpus Christi documented macrofauna abundance at intertidal oyster reefs and other estuarine habitats.  Oyster reefs tended to support higher density and species richness compared to seagrass and marsh edge, but that’s not the whole story.  The location of the reef relative to other features. ” These results indicate the importance of intertidal oyster reefs to macrofauna and that reef location within the estuarine mosaic influences density and community assemblages.”  
    • Gain, I.E., Brewton, R.A., Reese Robillard, M.M. et al., Macrofauna using intertidal oyster reef varies in relation to position within the estuarine habitat mosaic,  Mar Biol (2017) 164: 8. doi:10.1007/s00227-016-3033-5
  • Researchers in Brazil exposed C. gigas and C. brasiliana oysters to different thermal regimes for 28 days to gain insight into biochemical impacts of ocean temperature increase.  The authors found that life stage and species were important factors.  The introduced C. gigas  juveniles experienced significant mortality and other effects at higher temparature, while adults were less affected.  C. brasiliana oysters were less affected by increased temperatures at all life phases.
    • Anthony Moreira, Etelvina Figueira, Iracy L. Pecora, Amadeu M.V.M. Soares, Rosa Freitas, Biochemical alterations in native and exotic oyster species in Brazil in response to increasing temperature, Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part C: Toxicology & Pharmacology, Volume 191, January 2017, Pages 183-193, ISSN 1532-0456, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cbpc.2016.10.008.
  • A team out of the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, University of Southern Mississippi developed a model for predicting the transmission of dermo in the Eastern Oyster.  The authors suggest that overfishing may increase the susceptibility of a population to dermo infection.  They also suggested that coupling the infection model with hydrodynamic models could create a useful management tool.
    • G. Bidegain, E.N. Powell, J.M. Klinck, E.E. Hofmann, T. Ben-Horin, D. Bushek, S.E. Ford, D.M. Munroe, X. Guo, Modeling the transmission of Perkinsus marinus in the Eastern oyster Crassostrea virginica, Fisheries Research, Volume 186, Part 1, February 2017, Pages 82-93, ISSN 0165-7836, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fishres.2016.08.006.
  • A group out of LSU (Geaux Tigers!) exposed progeny of oyster stocks from differing salinity regimes to a variety of conditions along a salinity gradient.  The authors found that the different stocks may be genetically differentiated.  For example, some were more resistant to low salinity conditions, while other stocks were more resistant to dermo infection.
    • Justin M. Leonhardt, Sandra Casas, John E. Supan, Jerome F. La Peyre, Stock assessment for eastern oyster seed production and field grow-out in Louisiana, Aquaculture, Volume 466, 1 January 2017, Pages 9-19, ISSN 0044-8486, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aquaculture.2016.09.034.
  • Our neighbors to the north found that the Easter oyster, in the northernmost part of its range could become quiescent for months during the winter, including periods where the oysters were buried.  Early burial, which extends the quiescent period, led to increased mortality.  Removing buried oysters during the quiescent period actually accelerated mortality because the oysters began depleted energy reserves.  The authors suggest that aquaculturists avoid soft estuarine sediment whenever possible.
    • Luc A. Comeau, André Mallet, Claire Carver, Jean-Bruno Nadalini, Réjean Tremblay, Behavioural and lethal effects of sediment burial on quiescent Eastern oysters Crassostrea virginica, Aquaculture, Volume 469, 20 February 2017, Pages 9-15, ISSN 0044-8486, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aquaculture.2016.11.038.

NOEW2015 is here!

New Orleans Entrepreneur Week is here!

“New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW), presented by IBERIABANK, is the annual business festival celebrating entrepreneurship, innovation, and advanced thinking in New Orleans. NOEW engages a dynamic global network of entrepreneurs, investors, corporations, non-profits, students, and professionals to support growing companies and elevate entrepreneurial successes through eight days of discussion, debate, education, competition, and celebration. This year, NOEW will take place March 20-27, 2015 on Fulton Street in downtown New Orleans, and 10,000+ attendees are expected to engage through over 100 events.”

Today, Monday March 23rd, is also World Water Day, so once again NOEW kicks off with the Water Challenge. ORA Estuaries’ founder and 2014 Water Challenge winner Tyler Ortego will be discussing entrepreneurial opportunities in the water sector. Specifically, Tyler will be talking about recent successes and exciting opportunities in coastal restoration.  We’d like to congratulate finalists Don & Jon Adams (Advanced Berm Technologies), Mark Bernstein (Magnolia Land Partners), Dan Johnson (Greenman Dan Inc.), Gary Shaffer & Demetra Kandalepas (Wetland Resources,LLC), and John Tesvich (Riverbottom Tech).  Good luck!  Full schedule here: http://gopropeller.org/events/850/

On Wednesday March 25th, Tyler will be taking part in a roundtable discussion for the Innovation That Matters Summit hosted by the New Orleans Business Alliance and 1776.

Of course, Friday March 27th is the Big Idea.  Come out and support ORA Estuaries on Fulton Street!  Voting lasts from 5:00 to 6:30pm, and the top three companies go up on stage to pitch for the $25,000 grand prize.  We’ll be putting that prize money back in the water where it belongs with an exciting new pilot project.  Support coastal restoration: vote online today and come vote in person Friday!

For a detailed schedule, and to register, visit http://noew.org/

From WWNO: Why Do We Measure Wetlands Loss In Football Fields?

Why Do We Measure Wetlands Loss In Football Fields? | WWNO.

In coastal Louisiana, coastal wetlands are converting to open water at a rate measured in football fields.  A football field in less than an hour.  Every hour.

The football field metaphor is the brainchild America’s Wetland Foundation director Val Marmillion. “Everyone knows the size of a football field, whether you like football or not,” he says.

Our good friend Wendy Billiot, who has made her life on the coast, prefers another analogy.  “Since we’ve been charting our wetland loss, we’ve lost a landmass area the size of Delaware – that you can wrap your head around.”

Learn more about Wendy Billiot at http://bayouwoman.com/

Find the full article or listen at http://wwno.org/post/why-do-we-measure-wetlands-loss-football-fields

At ORA Estuaries, we grow oyster reefs into living coastal protection structures.  By combing restoration with engineered infrastructure, we stretch those hard-to-come-by dollars further.  It’s a huge challenge, help us do our part.

If you like what we are doing, please lend us your support by voting for our company in the New Orleans Entrepreneur Week Big Idea.  Visit www.voteforthecoast.com every day between now and March 23rd.

Thank you so much,

Tyler Ortego, Founder

The Economist illustrates global migration to coastal urban centers

Bright lights, big cities | The Economist.

This article from the Economist beautifully illustrates the massive global migration into a small number of “megacities”, cities with 10 million people or more.  In 1982, the year I was born, there were 5 of these megacities.

urbanization 1982

But that’s changing:

Nearly 9% of the world’s population will be living in just 41 megacities (those with more than 10m inhabitants) by 2030.

urbanization 2030

What’s more,  by my count, over two dozen of those megacities are on the coast.  That’s over half of the megacities.  Hundreds of millions of people.

What does this massive migration mean for megacity inhabitants and nearby environments?  First of all, many of these coastal areas are low lying or even sinking.  Combined with global sea level rise, that fact means that much of the billions of dollars in new infrastructure needed will almost certainly be built in the most vulnerable of places.   More housing and infrastructure will compete for limited space with existing resources like coastal marshes, swamps and mangrove habitats.  The very resources that provide natural protection.  More development means more run off and pollutants in the estuaries.  The very estuaries that are needed to provide seafood and other crucial ecosystem services.

I really think that coastal resiliency will be the interstate project of my generation, perhaps even the next.  At ORA Estuaries, we combine ecosystem services with coastal engineering to provide resilient solutions for our coastal communities.

If you like what we are doing, please lend us your support by voting for our company in the New Orleans Entrepreneur Week Big Idea.  Visit www.voteforthecoast.com every day between now and March 23rd.

Thank you so much,

Tyler Ortego, Founder

Mississippi residents call for oysters, oysters, oysters

File Mar 02, 3 47 17 PM

Actually “oysters & sea grass, oysters & sea grass, oysters & sea grass!”  Last week, I went to the Mississippi Marine Living Resources Summit.  Thinking it was just another networking opportunity, I was pleasantly surprised to find myself contributing to Mississippi’s coastal plan.  Even more pleasantly surprising was the cross section of coastal Mississippi who attended.  There were the usual scientists, engineers, university people, NGO folks and consultants.  But also homeowners, boat owners, beach combers, commercial fishermen & even a group of Vietnamese fishermen.  Everyone there was passionate about their coastal waters and natural resources.

So why the chorus calling for oysters and sea grass?  The consensus is that the natural resources are integral to the very identity of coastal Mississippi.  Oyster reefs & sea grass beds are the foundations of the whole coastal ecology as well as the “canaries in the coalmine” for estuarine health.  By rebuilding the reefs, and bringing back the sea grass beds,  all those other resources (shrimp, crabs, specs, reds etc…) have a chance to thrive.  At the same time, if the oyster reefs and sea grass beds are thriving, you know that you’ve got healthy water.

At ORA Estuaries, we grow oyster reefs into living coastal protection structures.  By combing restoration with engineered infrastructure, we stretch those hard-to-come-by dollars further.

If you like what we are doing, please lend us your support by voting for our company in the New Orleans Entrepreneur Week Big Idea.  Visit www.voteforthecoast.com every day between now and March 23rd.

Thank you so much,

Tyler Ortego, Founder ORA Estuaries

$60 million living oyster reef aimed at reducing waves on Staten Island’s South Shore | SILive.com

Who would have thought it?  Living oyster reef breakwaters in New York.  It’s not just us fools down the bayou anymore.  With Rising seas, impaired estuaries and threatened water & food security, coastal resiliency is going to be the interstate project of our lifetime.

From the mayor:

“In this city alone, 400,000 people live in the floodplain, more than any other major city in America. We are the ultimate coastal city. We are who we are because we’re the ultimate coastal city. We wouldn’t trade that in for anything in the world,” de Blasio said. “But it requires of us a new level of preparation and resiliency.”

Read the article here: $60 million living oyster reef aimed at reducing waves on Staten Island’s South Shore | SILive.com.

And the Rebuild by Design proposal here: http://www.rebuildbydesign.org/project/scape-landscape-architecture-final-proposal/

If you like what we are doing, please lend us your support by voting for our company in the New Orleans Entrepreneur Week Big Idea.  Visit www.voteforthecoast.com every day between now and March 23rd.

Thank you so much,

Tyler Ortego, Founder

DMR leader vows Mississippi oyster industry will get attention i – MyFoxAL.com – FOX6 WBRC Birmingham, AL

What a great development for coastal Mississippi, shortly followed by the Governors announcement of an oyster council.

Besides being a delicious marketable commodity, oysters are one of the most important organisms for coastal ecosystems.  Encouraging aquaculture practices to increase yields also increases the number of oysters that are filtering water, producing larvae & providing habitat.

via DMR leader vows Mississippi oyster industry will get attention i – MyFoxAL.com – FOX6 WBRC Birmingham, AL.