Industries – Oysters
The Prince Edward Island farmed oyster industry, along with its famous oysters, have earned a world-renowned reputation for their supreme quality, great taste, and can be found in fine dining establishments, oyster bars, and kitchens across the world.
- PEI oyster growers annually land approximately 6.5 million pounds of oysters at a value of $10.3 million.
- PEI cultured oysters are sold domestically in Quebec, Ontario, or exported to USA and other international markets.
- There are approximately 7,700 acres leased for oyster production with more than 800 lease holders, with 2,700 acres in suspended culture and 5,000 bottom culture.
Traditionally it takes 5 to 7 years for an oyster to grow to market size (three inches). By using off bottom and water column growing techniques, Island oyster growers are able produce the same size and quality of oyster in just 4 years. Also becoming popular are cocktail oysters, which are 2-3″ in length and take 2 to 3 years to produce.
Oyster leases are predominantly concentrated on the north and south shores, in PEI communities like Foxley River, Conway Narrows, Egmont, Orwell and Colville Bay.
Since the 1990s, off bottom and water column production methods have been utilized by Island producers. These methods allow the oysters to more easily access food and nutrition in the water column, resulting in increased growth rates. The process also makes it easier for growers to clean the oysters and equipment on a regular basis.
PEI Oysters Processors
COLVILLE BAY OYSTER COMPANY
Colville Bay Oyster Company is a family-owned business located in Souris, PEI. They have been growing top quality cultured oysters in the pristine waters of Colville Bay since 1995. Their oysters have a distinctive aqua-green shell and the meat is plump, briny and clean tasting; “like distilled ocean”. Their business has been built the old fashioned way by providing a superior product and quality service to their customers.
FIVE STAR SHELLFISH INC.
Five Star Shellfish Inc. is one of Canada’s premier processors of top quality Prince Edward Island shellfish. Their company takes great pride in the quality and safety of finished product that they provide and guarantee to their customers. The company harvests shellfish daily from the clean, pristine waters of their own lease sites, which are carefully managed all year round.
FUTURE SEAFOODS INC.
Future Seafoods specializes in oysters. They welcome you to come in and see the way they nurture the young oysters to bring their customers an exceptional delicacy. They feel that growing oysters is not just a job but a way of life and the entire company has a deep commitment to the environment and the sustainability of precious natural resources.
LESLIE HARDY & SONS LTD
Leslie Hardy & Sons Ltd., located in East Bideford PEI is a major shellfish shipping company. Owners and operators, Leslie Hardy and his sons take pride in the quality and delicious taste of the seafood that the fresh clean waters of PEI have to offer. Once you have tasted it they are sure you will agree. Their motto is: For the Love of Oysters, and they love farming oysters!
PRINCE EDWARD AQUA FARMS
Prince Edward Aqua Farms of New London, Prince Edward Island has been processing top quality shellfish since 1989. Oysters from Prince Edward Aqua Farms are recognized for their fresh and tender meat which is a result of being packaged in their natural fluids and the facility’s expedited shipping practices.
RASPBERRY POINT OYSTERS
For the oyster lover, Raspberry Point Oysters are much prized and sought after for their wonderful salty taste, clean flavour, and distinct sweet aftertaste. The Raspberry Point Oyster Co. also markets Daisy Bay, Pickle Point, Lucky Limes, Shiny Sea, and Irish Point brands.
RODNEY’S OYSTER DEPOT
Rodney’s Oyster Depot is as much about where, as what. The merroir of their leases create the best there is to offer in size, shape, and most importantly taste. Rodney’s Oyster Depot is a family enterprise, and even those who aren’t family feel like they are.