Mentor: Dr. Charles Adams
College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
"To obtain an in-depth treatment of a topic that I am truly passionate about."
Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences; History
- Fisheries Management
- Bioeconomic Modeling
- Reading Pals - United Way
Hobbies and Interests
Financial Feasability Analysis of Clam Culture in Cedar Key, FL
This purpose of this research is to analyze the financial viability of small-scale clam culture in Florida. The first objective is to create a model budget for an average existing hard clam farmer. In principle, this will serve as an update to a report from 2004 on the same topic. The model can then be developed into a web based tool that allows users to enter firm specific data to create a personalized budget, a model of cash flow over a multi year planning horizon, and sensitivity analyses of their operation’s most important variables. After developing the tool and testing it with local farmers, the program can be made available to the industry. The second objective is to use the hard clam budget as a guide to understanding the costs associated with the culture of the sunray venus clam, Macrocallista nimbosa. Along with oysters, sunray venus clams represent the other 2% of Florida’s shellfish production and have only recently entered the commercial market. When dockside prices of hard clams fell from $0.13 per clam to $0.09 per clam in 2003, many farmers began to look for other species to augment their profit strategy. After analyzing a number of potential shellfish, the characteristics of the sunray venus clam were deemed well suited for commercial production. In fact, the culture of sunray venus clams is very similar to hard clams (the only major difference being brood stock substrate preferences) and were widely accepted in a study of market acceptance in Florida. However, one facet that requires further consideration is the financial characteristics of sunray venus clam culture. This research project will address this issue by applying new production parameters to the budget model for hard clams to reflect the culture of sunray venus clams. After collecting this information, it will be possible to develop a budget model for academic and (perhaps eventually) industry use.