The Aquaculture Process
Raising from Seeds
We start with clam and oyster “seeds”, barely visible to the naked eye at less than 1 mm in size. Vulnerable to predators and the elements, these young shellfish begin their life in tanks circulating with plankton-rich water to stimulate development. Clams are spread across fine screens and left to grow while oysters must be washed and separated daily to prevent them from bonding together as they mature.
Out to the Bay
Once the seeds are large enough they are taken out to continue developing in their natural habitat of the Chesapeake Bay. After oysters have grown to 4mm they are moved into growing bags and placed in cages on elevated racks in shallow coastal waters. Since clams live in the substrate (underwater sediment layer), their seeds must reach at least 12 mm before they are planted and covered in mesh netting. The bags and netting keep predators out and allow in the rich nutrients in, promoting rapid growth in the first few months.
Growth & Harvesting
Our oysters are grown in the protected waters of the Magothy Bay nature preserve. The incoming and outgoing tides along the coast provide a constant flow of algae and minerals, spurring rapid growth in the first few months. Oysters are turned regularly and divided into gauge bags to create a uniform size and shape. To maintain the highest quality standards, our oysters are harvested, graded, and packed by hand and cooled from the time they come out of the water until they’re loaded on the refrigerated truck for delivery a few hours later.
We raise clams on the Chesapeake Bay and on the Seaside of the Eastern Shore to provide the best of both waters. Once the clam seeds are covered we anchor the mesh netting with gravel bags and periodically check the beds for any disturbances. We let nature take over and allow the clams to grow for 12 to 18 months until they are plump and ready for harvest. Our clams are harvested using low-impact hand dredges and are hand-graded, packaged, and shipped that same day. This hands-on approach and fast turnaround allows us to provide fresh clams along the entire East Coast.
Rebuilding Marine Ecosytems
We’re dedicated to providing premium clams and oysters that have a positive environmental impact. Learn how sustainable aquaculture of shellfish is helping to restore the Chesapeake Bay.