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Spawn II: Son of Spawn

By Susannah Black
April 4, 2016

by D’lylah Nazario

12th grade Aquaculture student/Harbor Foundation journalism intern

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Several attempts in, we have our second successful spawn of the Spring in the Aquaculture lab. Oysters from Fishers Island Oyster Farm from last year’s trip, when they had been harvested by Harbor students, and oysters collected by Jeremy from Soundview in the Bronx were put to spawn together to create a diverse gene pool.  The Soundview oysters are not necessarily original native stock, though.

On Monday, April 4, 2016, Jeremy Esposito, BOP’s hatchery manager, placed 21 oysters into the spawning tray: 12 from Soundview and nine from Fishers Island.  Until an oyster spawns, you can’t tell whether it’s a male or a female.  

The process today looked like this:

8:15 in the morning temperatures were at 21°C

9:45 in the morning at 28°C

10:45 temperatures lowered down to 27°C

11:35 rose back up to 28°C and has remained that way.

And spawning started.  Nine from Soundview spawned, and two from Fishers Island.  It became clear that of the nine from Soundview, six were male and three were female, and of the two from Fishers Island, one was male and one was female.  

So far it’s apparent that the oysters from Fishers Island are not spawning at the rates of the oysters from Soundview; this might be because the oysters from Fishers Island have been held in conditioning for two months, which may be too long. Whatever the case may be, let’s hope the oysters aren’t duds and can produce more eggs! Egg production so far has been looking up. Jeremy Esposito says, “I would say it’s looking like a minor success”.

Update, 1 hour later: 40 million fertilized eggs!

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