Grow your own delicious oysters under your pier
The NC Under Dock Oyster Culture Program.
If you are fortunate enough to own a pier in “open” waters, Marine Fisheries will grant you a UDOC permit that will allow you to legally grow oysters in floating cages under your pier.
There are some restrictions. The most important are that you are not allowed to sell these oysters and you are allowed a maximum of about 20 cages. That will easily accommodate several thousand oysters, from spats to mature 3” to 4” oysters.
Shellfish Gardeners of North Carolina.
The Shellfish Gardeners Club of North Carolina (SGNC) is a group of people dedicated to this hobby. The club meets once or twice a year so that members can buy spats (baby oysters) and the specialized equipment used to grow these oysters. The meetings are also an opportunity to share experiences and ideas.
In 12 to 14 months you can grow eating size (3 to 4 inch) oysters.
However, in addition to the satisfaction of helping the environment, one of the major benefits is that you can eat your UDOC oysters and share them with family and friends all yearlong… and I do.