A summary of oyster mariculture utilizing an offshore petroleum platform in the Gulf of Mexico.
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Research (1970-1975) on oyster culture utilizing a petroleum platform 6 kilometers offshore from High Island, Texas is summarized. Growth of oysters held offshore was comparable to that of oysters held in the estuary. Growth of the oysters offshore was equal to depths of 8 meters. Growth of juvenlile oysters in terms of length was less for oysters held in wire trays compared to plastic mesh bags and less for oysters from which fouling was removed monthly compared oysters not brushed to remove fouling. Oysters suspended during the fall showed best condition during the following June and estuaring oysters were in better condition than offshore oysters. Mortality of oysters infected with the fungus Labyrinthomyxa marina was high (30-65%), while mortality of uninfected oysters was low (0-29%) both onshore and in the estuary. Oyster losses were primarily attributed to vandalism in the estuary and mechanical failure offshore. Oysters from the bay completely depurated fecal coliforms within seven days after transfer offshore. Oysters cultured offshore were found to be as acceptable as oysters from the bay in an organoleptic evaluation by a ten member panel.