Just spent a week out in Portland OR at the 73rd! Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association. Really interesting. Here are some of my takeaways.
1) The industry on the West Coast is different. The farms are larger. They have been in business for much longer (often generations). They farm mostly Pacific (Gigas) Oysters, Clams and Goeducks.
2) Like on the East Coast, there are a lot of really smart people working on specific problems. Ocean Acidification, Green Crab Invasions....
3) Like on the east coast, most farms are moving towards container culture. In most cases, they are using Flip Bags. There is a lot less floating gear except up in British Columbia.
4) There have been some significant die offs and there isn't always an obvious cause. But there are a lot of smart people working on it.
5) The export market is a lot more important. A significant amount of product leaves for Asia every day. Tariffs have not helped.
6)You learn a lot more at the bar than in the sessions!