Phillips Wharf Environmental Center on Tilghman Island is sharing their aquaculture pearls of wisdom.
Anyone interested in becoming an oyster farmer is invited to apply for the Center’s new aquaculture training program. Participants will learn everything they need to know to begin an aquaculture operation of their own.
In addition to the training, the center supplies the necessary equipment needed to participate in their aquaculture incubator. Students must complete an aquaculture lease application to graduate from the program.
Equipped with knowledge and gear, trainees will be able to work the Center’s lease and raise their own oysters. Phillips Wharf supplies the seed stock and will buy back the oysters when they are large enough to harvest.
The program is funded by a grant from the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. Applicants must be able to lift 50 pounds and be comfortable on a boat. Though anyone is welcome, working watermen are encouraged to apply.
“Our program is open to anyone with grit and determination,” says Phillips Wharf Executive Director Kelley Phillips Cox. “Aquaculture presents an opportunity to supplement the wild harvest fishery, but it’s also a way to learn about the Bay. If you are interested the ecology of the Chesapeake Bay, this class is for you.”
Phillips Wharf is currently recruiting for its second cohort, with applications due February 1. Five students graduated on May 15 from the first class.
The next aquaculture training program begins Saturday, February 16 and runs through Sunday, March 31. Classes are held on each Saturday and Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
For more information about Phillips Wharf and their aquaculture program contact Kelley Phillips Cox at 410-310-0312 or email@example.com.