How They’re Grown
Aquaculture oysters are grown in cages, in bags on racks, in floats and spat-on-shell bottom planting. Oysters grown in cages/racks/floats are generally destined for the more lucrative half-shell market, while spat-on-shell oysters are usually grown for the shucking market.
Cultured oyster production can be viewed as a 3-step process – hatchery; nursery; and grow-out to market size.
The first step begins onshore in a hatchery, where adult oysters are encouraged to spawn and produce baby oysters. During this hatchery stage, oysters of all ages (broodstock, larvae, and post-set juveniles) are fed a diet consisting primarily of cultured micro-algae and then a mixture of cultured algae and natural algae.