Pacific oysters are set on whole oyster shell in bags or on micro-cultch shell as singles in our remote setting/nursery facility. Bags of cultch oyster seed is available from our setting tanks or seasoned from one of our farms. Single oyster seed is periodically available from our nursery.
In years past, we sold tiny oysters that had naturally set on our gravel tideland as gravel seed. These are now allowed to grow to maturity and sold as single oysters. Currently, Rock Point uses a remote setting facility to assist acquired oyster larvae in settling onto both shell in plastic mesh bags (cultch seed) and in trays (cultchless single oyster seed).
The cultch seed is fed with tank-grown microalgae for 1-2 weeks before being moved to tidelands for 3-6 months of growth and hardening. The shell with small oyster spat can then be scattered across the tideland for growth to maturity. Some of our cultch seed is strung onto ropes that are supported off-bottom for accelerated growth where the substrate is soft or acidic.
The cultchless seed is fed the same microalgae for 4-8 weeks before moving them to an upwell system in the bay, where they can then feed on natural algae. Once the single seed has grown to ½” – ¾” size, they are planted out to our tidelands. These oysters are spread on the tideland on firm substrate, placed in plastic mesh bags supported off the ground by lines, placed in various plastic mesh baskets off-bottom, or placed into trays. The off-bottom growth is significantly faster than those that are grown on-bottom and their shell has a different character.