Auburn University Shellfish Laboratory

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMailing address: 150 Agassiz Street Dauphin Island, Alabama 36528

Office Phone: 251-861-3018

Fax: 251-861-2344

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The Auburn University Shellfish Laboratory, on the Dauphin Island Sea Lab campus on the east end of Dauphin Island, Alabama, provides instruction, research and outreach in the area of shellfish ecology and production to the citizens of Alabama, the region and the nation. It is one component of the Auburn University Marine Extension and Research Center. 

The facility contains two laboratories, an indoor wet lab, and multiple refrigerators and freezers are available for storage of shellfish algal diets, sample storage, and chemicals and reagents that need refrigeration. The facility has a 3000 ft2 hatchery facility. The AUSL hatchery is equipped with a 96 unit temperature induction system for spawning parental shellfish brood stock. The units are designed so that each oyster can be isolated to prevent unintended fertilization of eggs. Nine1000 L cone bottom tanks, Nine 600 L cone bottom tanks, twenty-seven 100 L cone bottom tanks, and three 5000 L tanks, are available for larval rearing. Seawater for larval rearing is filtered to 1 micron by passing through cartridge filters and is then UV sterilized.  The hatchery has eight 1000 L shellfish setting tanks and four 5000 L upweller tanks for nursery production of shellfish. The AUSL facility is supplied with seawater from the Gulf of Mexico via twin pipelines with a 10HP Fybroc Series 1600 horizontal self-priming, close-coupled, centrifugal pump capable of flow rates of 275 gpm. AUSL also maintains two identical reserve pumps. AUSL has a seawater storage capacity of 12,000 gallons in two 6,000 gallon silo reservoirs. A dual blower system delivers air throughout the hatchery. AUSL also maintains a 65 acre open- water shellfish farm site in Portersville Bay, Alabama for conducting research, a nursery area for shellfish seed, a training area for shellfish farmers, an enterprise zone for new shellfish farms, and 10 acres of sanctuary oyster reef.

Portersville Bay oyster farming park.

Portersville Bay oyster farming park.

The hatchery production of shellfish larvae and seed supports a wide variety of in-house research projects including focus areas of shellfish aquaculture, hatchery practices, shellfish and reef ecology, shellfish diseases, human pathogens associated with shellfish, and shellfish restoration. The AUSL hatchery also provides shellfish larvae and seed for other agencies and institutions around the Gulf of Mexico on an as needed basis.  Currently, AUSL is the source of seed for the oyster aquaculture industry in Alabama aimed at production of premium quality single oysters for the half-shell market.    



203 Swingle Hall | Auburn, Alabama 36849 | (334) 844-4786 |
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