Oyster South Industry Symposium

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Island House Hotel Orange Beach - a DoubleTree by Hilton

26650 Perdido Beach Boulevard

Orange Beach, Alabama 36561

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Refund Policy

Refund Policy

Refunds up to 7 days before event

Event description


UPDATE (Jan. 10, 2019) - We are sorry to say we are sold out! We had 200 tickets available that sold out by Jan. 8th, and we worked with the hotel to add 20 tickets that are already sold out! Wow! The hotel is evaluating options but we believe this is a hard limit for the event room. If you missed this year, please make sure you are a paid member of Oyster South so that you get early notice about ticket sales for our 2020 Symposium.

Our third Oyster South Symposium is a meeting to bring together producers, gear suppliers, distributors, chefs, food writers, vendors, researchers, students and managers from the southeast region to discuss pressing issues and relevant, practical research on oyster aquaculture. The Symposium is being hosted by Oyster South, a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to advancing oyster aquaculture in the southern US, in collaboration with National Sea Grant, Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission, Alabama Cooperative Extension System, and Auburn University Shellfish Lab. This meeting is intended for industry members.

Current Oyster South paid members will receive a discount code to receive a 50% discount on the listed prices. If you are not a current member, you can join here. We'd love to have you as a member! Registration includes admission to all informational sessions (all day Friday and Saturday morning), all breaks, lunch on Friday, a mixer on Friday night, and the trade show. Meeting fees are based on current OS membership and industry role.

National Sea Grant is providing support for commercial growers to attend. National Sea Grant has provided financial assistance to defray your costs of attending this symposium by $200 (paid after attending the meeting). This benefit is on a first come, first serve basis to the first 60 commercial growers registered, so please register early. Registered growers will be contacted after registration. Oyster South membership is not required to qualify for this support.

Trade show! One highlight of the meeting is our industry trade show that runs from Friday morning through noon on Saturday. For vendors that want to participate, you must register for at least one related industry admission and one vendor space (one per related industry membership). There are five premium vendor spaces available in the lobby outside the meeting room, and seven regular vendor spaces available (either right outside the meeting room under the awning or inside the hotel lobby). Members may use the discount code to obtain membership rates for admission and vendor spaces, but must hold a current paid related industry membership.

A block of rooms has been reserved for this meeting at the Island House Hotel (with no rooms left for Thursday night). To obtain this rate, book your room here or indicate that you are with the Oyster South Symposium when you call. This is again a first come, first serve benefit. There are many other possible accommodations in the area.

Flying in? The Pensacola International Airport is a 50-minute drive from the hotel. The Mobile Regional Airport is approximately a 90-minute drive from the hotel. We are looking into options for shared rides.

Wednesday, Feb. 20th

  • 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm Ocean Conservancy farm tour of Pensacola Bay Oyster Hatchery (Tour is now full)

Thursday, Feb. 21st

  • 9:00 am to 11:00 am Ocean Conservancy farm tour of Navy Cove Oysters (Tour is now full)

  • 2:00 pm to 4:30 pm Ocean Conservancy Panel: When dead shellfish aren’t your fault - Ocean acidification and other environmental mortality events discussion panel (Gulf Room, Island House Hotel)

  • 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm, Director’s Welcome Reception, Playa Restaurant

Friday, Feb. 22nd

  • 8:00 am to 8:30 am Coffee

  • 8:30 am to 8:45 am Welcome, Beth Walton

  • 8:45 am to 9:00 am Efficacy of biofouling mitigation methods for floating cage production of southeastern triploid Eastern oysters, Shannon Kirk, University of Georgia

  • 9:00 am to 9:15 am Comparing off-bottom oyster aquaculture techniques in the Northern Gulf of Mexico on biofouling, Ellis Chapman. Louisiana State University

  • 9:15 am to 9:30 am Return on investment of floating cage production, Julie Davis

  • 9:30 am to 9:45 am Assessment of Financial Risk in Off-bottom Culture on Florida’s Gulf Coast, Leslie Sturmer, University of Florida

  • 9:45 am to 10:00 am Investigating summer mortality in triploids in the northern Gulf of Mexico, Sarah Bodenstein, Auburn University

  • 10:00 am to 10:15 am Effects of gear type and season on Vibrios in farmed oysters after routine handling, Vicki Pruente, Auburn University

  • 10:15 am to 10:40 am Refreshment Break

  • 10:40 am to 11:00 am Oyster farming as restoration, Pete Malinowski, Billion Oyster Project

  • 11:00 am to 11:20 am Revenge of the nerds: Effects of debt financing on your heavy, sharp rock farm, Matthew Parker, University of Maryland

  • 11:20 am to 11:40 am Research farm network, Diane Murphy, Cape Cod Cooperative Extension & Woods Hole Sea Grant

  • 11:40 am to Noon Rethinking how we think about seed transfers, Ryan Carnegie, Virginia Institute of Marine Science

  • Noon to 1:30 pm Lunch (Will's Farm Foods)

  • 1:20 pm to 2:00 pm Need for Seed Panel Discussion, Moderated by Julie Davis

  • 2:00 pm to 2:40 pm Lessons from the Storms Panel Discussion, Moderated by Chuck Weirich, North Carolina Sea Grant

  • 2:40 pm to 3:20 pm Impacts of Climate Change Panel Discussion, Moderated by Sally McGee, The Nature Conservancy

  • 3:20 pm to 4:00 pm Three Minute Tech Talks, Moderated by Jason Rider & Chuck Weirich, Mississippi Department of Marine Resources

  • 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm Trade Show and Happy Hour

  • 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm Friends & Farmers, Fisher’s Dockside Restaurant

Saturday, Feb. 23rd

  • 8:00 am to 9:00 am Coffee

  • 9:00 am to 9:20 am Under the Oyster South Hood, Beth Walton

  • 9:20 am to 9:40 am Finding your tribe, Johnny Fisher, Fisher’s & Playa

  • 9:40 am to 10:20 am The Importance, or Not, of Quality Panel Discussion, Moderated by Bill Walton

  • 10:20 am to 10:40 am Refreshment Break

  • 10:40 am to 11:00 am An educated staff, Julia Sullivan, Henrietta Red

  • 11:00 am to 11:20 am Lessons from cocktails, Caroline Rosen, Tales of the Cocktail

  • 11:20 am to Noon Telling the Story Panel Discussion, Moderated by Erin Byers Murray and Jennifer Kornegay

  • Noon Closing and Farewells, Beth Walton

  • 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm Discussion with Bob Rheault of East Coast Shellfish Growers Association about possibilities for a Gulf Coast growers association

Gold Sponsors

  • Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium
  • National Sea Grant

Silver Sponsors

  • Louisiana Sea Grant

Bronze Sponsors

  • Evan’s Meats & Seafood
  • Georgia Sea Grant
  • Go Deep
  • Mississippi Department of Marine Resources
  • South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium
  • Texas Sea Grant

Tours before or after the Symposium? We are looking into options for tours and welcome offers from local members!


How can I contact the organizer with any questions?

If you have any questions, please contact the Symposium organizer, Bill Walton at billwalton@auburn.edu

What's the refund policy?

Tickets may be refunded up to 7 days before the event. With space limited, we ask folks to be considerate and request refunds as soon as possible to make tickets available to others.

Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?

No, you do not. We will have a will call list at the door.

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Date and Time


Island House Hotel Orange Beach - a DoubleTree by Hilton

26650 Perdido Beach Boulevard

Orange Beach, Alabama 36561

View Map

Refund Policy

Refunds up to 7 days before event

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