Guernsey is one of the few places in the world that can boast the fact that every oyster consumed in the Bailiwick has been reared in the Bailiwick.
Our oyster seed is produced at the local hatchery - Guernsey Sea Farms - using brood stock that is taken from our farm in Herm. We select the best shaped oysters with the best shells and meat quality to be ‘parents’ for our oncoming stock, thus ensuring that in the next generation of oysters, quality and consistency is continually maintained.
When the seed (or spat as it sometimes known) is approximately the size of your little fingernail, it is taken to our farms and placed low down the beach to start its growth. It is put into mesh bags and placed on metal trestle tables that raise the young oysters off the sand and puts them in the path of the currents that deliver their food.
Oysters are bivalves that filter the nutrient rich algae from the water that flows past them, so the health and cleanliness of the waters in which they are raised is essential. They are an indicator species of the health of an ecosystem, and are a sustainable shellfish that maintain and improve the health of our oceans.
As Oysters take on the flavour of the water in which they are raised, different oysters from different places have distinct flavours. Given that our oysters in Herm are fed by the clear nutrient rich waters of the Gulf Stream, with the tidal flow rushing through and over the farm site twice daily, their taste will be unique to our product, giving them worldwide appeal.
The flavour of an oyster is also determined by the variety; we raise Pacific Oysters (crassostrea gigas), a variety that originated in Japan and which develops plump, sweet tasting meat inside a deep-cupped shell.
After 18-24 months when the oyster has been through all sorts of grading and sizing processes, it is ready to be sold to the local consumption market.
Guernsey can proudly boast that their oysters are a true, genuine Guernsey product.
The unbelievable uniqueness of this cannot be undersold or overlooked.