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Oyster Research Lab

Oyster Research Lab

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Image: Research Lab logoAbout the Oyster Research Lab

Louisiana Sea Grant’s Oyster Lab and the Michael C. Voisin Oyster Hatchery on Grand Isle has both research and commercial-scale larval rearing capabilities. It is the largest oyster research lab along the United States’ Gulf of Mexico coast, based on larval rearing capacity. The facility’s capabilities include:

  • State-of-the-art seawater filtration system capable of filtering baywater at 50 gallons per minute to 1 micron.
  • Commercial-scale larval rearing capacity, capable of producing more than 60 million oyster larvae per week during operation (April-September).
  • State-of-the-art algal production system producing more than 1,000 gallons of microalgae per day to support larval, spat/seed and broodstock feeding.
  • Twenty-four 5-gallon and forty 55-gallon nursery silos for producing more than 1 million seed oysters per season for oyster research and industry demonstration projects.
  • One-half acre of protected, enclosed, baywater for deployment of experiments and grow-out of research broods.
  • Field laboratory capabilities with on-campus support.


Types of research conducted at the lab include:

  • Development of disease-resistant oyster strains.
  • Production of triploid oysters for high summertime meat yield.
  • Development of tetraploid broodstock for producing triploid oysters.
  • Testing potential oyster cultch material.
  • Ground-truthing hydroacoustic evaluations of oyster leases.
  • Various graduate student research on cyropreservation of oyster gametes, larval settlement on oil-contaminated substrates, improved oyster breeding and oyster fertilization synchrony.

Destroyed by both Hurricanes Katrina and Gustav, hatchery operations were rebuilt at the new Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries’ Marine Fisheries Laboratory.