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The construction of the oyster farms was financed with $134,285 from the Aid Institute budget.
- Ministry of Agriculture photo -

Oysters farms in Nicoya Gulf advance

Published Monday, March 22, 2021

By A.M. Costa Rica staff

This weekend the sowing of the first 300,000 oyster seeds began in the Gulf of Nicoya.

The oysters are cultivated onshore to the size of spat when they can attach themselves to a substrate. They may be allowed to mature further to form oyster seeds. They are then placed in the water to mature. The release technique involves distributing the spat throughout existing oyster beds, allowing them to mature naturally to be collected like wild oysters.

The project is being developed by the associations of Artisanal Fishermen of Costa de Pájaros, Isla Venado and Isla de Chira.

Fishermen have received advice for the development of their oyster farm from public organizations such as the National University, the Fisheries Institute, the Aid Institute, among others to develop aquaculture as an alternative to boost economic activity in these communities.

The construction of the oyster farms was financed with $134,285 from the Aid Institute budget. Fishermen will receive 100,000 oyster seeds per month donated by the National Oyster Seed Production Laboratory.

It is projected that in the initial phase at least 30% of this oyster stocking will reach commercial size of 65 millimeters in 9 months.

In Nov. 2020, the government announced the opening of a shellfish processing plant in Puntarenas, which is the largest in Central America, according to the Rural Development Institute.
The construction of the plant is valued at $412,426 from the Institute and Ministry of Labor budgets.

According to the institute, the mollusk treatment plant, which is located in the Marine and Coastal Sciences Station, ECMAR, of the National University in Chomes District, could process up to one million oysters per month.

Previously, an oyster seed production laboratory had been built in the same facilities, which cost about $932,086, provided by the Ministry of Agriculture and other public institutions.

Both the processing plant and the laboratory are under management of the National University with the goal of providing advice and the use of the facilities to entrepreneurs of oyster farms in Puntarenas and Golfito.

In Costa Rica, one million oyster seeds are produced annually and it is expected that when the plant becomes fully operational, one million seeds per month can be produced. The goal is to convert oyster farming as a new productive activity in the Pacific Coast area, according to the institute.

People interested in developing an oyster farm on the Pacific Coast should call for information by dialing the institute line at 2247-7400.

What have you heard of entrepreneurs seeking help in maintaining their oyster farms? We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to

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