Potential of sites in northern Cuba for developing an industry of the native mangrove oyster (Crassostrea rhizophorae)
Mangrove oysters (Crassostrea rhizophorae) were collected and raised for seven months at four sites (Punta Pargo, Jorobado, Cañete, and Enfermería) around Bahía Sagua La Grande on the north coast of Cuba, to determine which site offered the best conditions for cultivation of this commercially important species. Monthly measurements of oyster height were taken on 30 oysters randomly collected from each study site. Only oysters raised at Punta Pargo and Enfermería reached the mean commercial size (>40 mm) within the study period; these oysters were significantly larger than oysters raised at Cañete and Jorobado. No significant differences in survival between the sites were observed. Punta Pargo and Enfermería showed the best potential for oyster farming in the Bahía de Sagua area. Despite human impact on runoff caused by damming of the adjacent river, water quality remains acceptable for oyster cultivation. With proper stock management and production of selected fast-growing oysters in hatcheries, oyster farming can become an important aquaculture industry in Cuba.