85% of all natural US and global oyster beds are gone
The Florida Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research (the Florida Institute) announced today that it has finalized a funding agreement with Panacea Oyster Co-Op Corporation (POCC), a Crawfordville-based company with technology developed at the Tallahassee Community College Wakulla Environmental Institute. The Florida Institute supports new company creation based on publicly-funded research, and bridges early funding gaps for companies spinning out of Florida-based universities and research institutions. Today 85% of all natural US and global oyster beds are gone, and a void has been left in the market for oyster aquaculture ranching. Panacea Oyster Co-Op Corporation (POCC) was founded by a group of oyster ranchers to cultivate a new full water column oyster farming community. This aquaculture method keeps oysters safe from bottom-dwelling predators while taking advantage of the nutrient-rich water surface which is free from the pollutants that settle at the bottom. “The US is the second largest seafood consumer, and oysters are in high demand,” said Robin Olin Panacea Oyster Co-Op Corporation, Chief Executive Officer. “Our goal is to lead the largest resurrection project in the history of Wakulla County by creating primary water filtering system (one oyster filters up to 50 gallons of water per day) to facilitate the re-establishment of all Gulf flora and fauna to its full vibrancy, and to create a successful keystone model for other oyster farmers to mirror and emulate in the future…profitably.” “Due to the unique combination of high nutrient content and a close proximity to the largest known fresh-water spring, POCC is positioned to change the aquaculture ranching business,” said Jackson Streeter, MD, Florida Institute Chief Executive Officer. “We look forward to their progress in filling this unique void in the marketplace, and the positive economic impacts they will have in the State of Florida.” Formed by the Florida Legislature in 2007, the Florida Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research is a non-profit organization that works collaboratively with the technology licensing and commercialization offices of Florida’s state universities and private research institutions to leverage a $2B+ research base and form investable companies that create clean jobs in new industries that are driving the global economy. With funding from the State of Florida through the Department of Economic Opportunity, and through the generosity of mentors, advisors and donors, the Institute provides company building services, and seed funding through the Florida Technology Seed Capital Fund, to promising Florida startups. Sixty-one companies have been funded to date, and the Institute’s economic impact through June 30, 2016 in the State of Florida was $630 million. Panacea Oyster Co-Op Corporation (POCC) was founded by a group of oyster ranchers to cultivate a new full water column oyster ranching community in Apalachee Bay. It will operate a completely vertical system of support for the ranchers, beginning with a hatchery/nursery and finishing with a wholesale processing and pasteurization plant, with continuous aquaculture education and training, to ensure the best quality and largest quantity of “superior oysters” possible from its members.