Where the land ends and the brackish water of oyster bay begins, Estuary Oysters is not only harvesting fresh oysters, we are rebuilding Nature. They grow, harvest and process award-winning oysters right at the water’s edge. Our leases provide the ideal location for controlling the process. This ensures the highest standards from seed to sales. And it’s a total win-win for the customer, and more importantly, the future of this location.
In less than 10 minutes from port to leases, Estuary Oyster farmers pass through the many ancient and deceased oyster bars of the past. Just a little ways further is the vibrant and evergreen oyster ranches of the future.
The mission is simple: making… not taking.
You see, we use nature to actually save nature. Harnessing the sun, leveraging the tides and maximizing the many natural assets at Spring Creek and Oyster Bay delivers a better oyster and a better future for our area for generations to come.
After an 11-hour round-trip to the hatchery at Dauphin Island Alabama, farmers return to Estuary Oysters headquarters in the heart of the most essential and biologically diverse estuary in North America. A quarter of a million 10 millimeter sized premium triploid oyster seed has been brought in to start the growing process. After a 10-minute boat trip to their new home in Spring Creek’s Oyster Bay, the seedlings will grow and in eight months, they’ll become mature premium delicious Estuary Oysters.
Before that can happen we place the 250,000 ten-millimeter seed into our three millimeter seed bags. This routine of sorting, shaping and density reduction, begins and must be repeated at every growth stage from nine millimeter bags to 14 millimeter bags and finally 18 millimeter bags. At that time, the fastest growers are large enough to be harvested for market.
Along the way, each cage will be physically attended to for biologic and predatory issues. We also check for growth and health analysis. This is a demanding regimen of discipline and repetition. But, it is absolutely necessary for fostering a well-shaped, healthy and robust oyster.
Once an Estuary oyster is mature enough for market, it is hand cleaned from any marine growth and then warehoused in the water on the lease until harvest day.
The oysters are then returned to the processing center. At this stage, each Estuary Oyster is hand-rinsed, counted and placed into recyclable boxes with each box containing 103 oysters. In the box, each has individual identification tags that show location, date, quantity and expiration. All of this is not only necessary, but is state mandated. The boxes are then put into our state-certified cooler and chilled at a steady average of 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
You, the customer, receive the freshest, healthiest and tastiest oyster on the planet. It’s a long and complex process to produce a premium Estuary Oyster that is certifiable, verifiable and traceable for the health of both our customers and the environment, but that is why we founded Estuary Oysters.
And, more importantly, we will continue to lead in this endeavor for the sake of our coast, our community and our partners for generations to come!