An Effingham oyster’s life starts in a hatchery. For us that hatchery is Nova Harvest, located in Bamfield, BC. We buy millions of tiny “seed” oysters, planning several years in advance, to ensure a consistent supply – year round, year after year.
At the farm, seed can be raised in the flupsy (floating upwelling system) or in special trays on our rafts. The benefit of the flupsy is that it boosts the oyster seeds’ growth rate by increasing the availability of water flow and food. Nothing is added to the water, oysters feast on phytoplankton (microscopic marine algae) which is readily available in water column.
When the oysters get a little bigger, they are transferred into stackable trays, which are then suspended from rafts. They are sorted and conditioned every 4 to 6 weeks using our SED Vision Grader, see video below. This process of tumbling gently chips the shells, simulating the tumbling of oysters on a beach. This process promotes stronger shells and deeper cups. Oysters reach market size in about 18 to 36 months.