Since Roman times to the present day, our Portland Oysters have been favoured by generations. Today, there is a growing demand for our Portland Oysters and we supply
There have been Oysters in the fleet since Roman times. The Native Oyster, OSTREA EDULIS, has been prized throughout the history and was the Oyster of choice until recently when disease, over fishing and pollution seriously depleted the wild stocks. The more robust Pacific Oyster CRASSOSTREA GIGAS has since taken place in the market place and is the preferred Oyster for cultivation worldwide.
There has been an Oyster farm in the Fleet for 30 years. Cultivation method being based on the French Bag and Trestle method. Growing on juveniles from hatchery seed to market size taking roughly three years. This continued under the name of Abbotsbury Oysters until end 2004.
Under new ownership in 2004, it was decided to clear the, by now almost derelict and non functional, site and introduce new and innovative Oyster growing systems for Australia. The Australian systems consists of timber post and rail rows carrying purpose made enclosed plastic mesh baskets – AQUAPURSE. The company, TOOLTECH, from Brisbane, QLD, exports these systems worldwide but AQUAPURSE is new to Europe. Open top ‘baskets’ similar to Tasmania are also used.
Part grown Oysters (30-40mm) are sourced from the Channel Islands and relaid in the Fleet AQUAPURSE for between 7-12 months. By this time they are of marketable size.
The Fleet Oyster Farm is approx 2 Ha it has twenty rows of approx 50 mtres (approx 1 kilometre). This is quite manageable by one man (and a dog!)
Water quality is assessed monthly and Classified B under EU Directives. Depuration on site ensures a safe, top quality Oyster with a long shelf life (2 weeks if at correct temp).