Oyster Research Lab
About 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.