TL;DR: This is awesome. That’s right, an oyster farm is opening in Manatee County, just across the Skyway Bridge from the Sunshine City. Say hello to the Local Coast Oyster Company.
Florida Governor Desantis’ Cabinet just granted Brian and Lindsay Rosegger, a husband and wife duo of the Lost Coast Oyster Company, to start Tampa Bay’s first full water column aquaculture farm, growing sustainably-raised, boutique oysters in an innovative off-bottom farming technique.
Oyster farm entering the Terra Ceia Aquatic Preserve
The submerged land lease is the first of its kind in lower Tampa Bay in the Terra Ceia Aquatic Preserve.
How does an oyster farm work?
Oyster seed is planted in floating bags on the top of the water column and tumbled by the tide.
The Rosegger’s hope to begin farming by summer 2019. Once they’re fully operational, they hope to provide restaurants across Tampa Bay with local oysters.
Partnering with local restaurants
“The Lost Coast Oyster Company aims to revitalize the lost industry along Florida’s Gulf Coast,” noted the owners in a press release. “By utilizing innovative off-bottom farming techniques we produce high-quality boutique oysters destined for the premium half-shell market.”