The Brewster Oyster is a sea farm raised American oyster, Crassostrea virginica, that is grown from a small seed oyster, 3 -5 mm. (1/8 – 1/4 inch) to a robust 85+ mm. (3.5+ inches). The seed oysters are obtained from state approved hatcheries and grown to market size under carefully monitored aquaculture methods in the pristine waters of Cape Cod Bay in Brewster, MA.
Aquaculture methods presently in use provide secure sites for oysters to grow. Contained in mesh bags, trays or cages firmly anchored against wind, wave and current the oysters are protected from predators while being bathed in the plankton rich waters of Cape Cod Bay. Each oyster is then hand selected according to size and appearance for the discriminating raw bar market. It takes about three years of continuous sorting, sizing, and transplanting to produce an oyster for market.
While there have probably always been a few native oysters in Brewster, there are few suitable habitats for optimum growth. Oysters like to attach themselves to things like rocks and other oysters, both of which are in limited quantity in Brewster waters. The local shoreline’s exposure to winter storms from the north presents an inhospitable environment for any creature that isn’t dug in or in some way protected from being washed ashore. Consequently, natural sets of oysters are scarce in Brewster. Presto - along comes Aquaculture!
Starting in 1996 while searching for a species of shellfish that would show promise for aquacultural endeavors, several members of the Brewster Aquaculture Association started experimenting with the growing of oysters. The results were promising and, since then, they have been modifying their technique and expanding their efforts with great results!
The Brewster Acquaculture Association is a proud member of the following civic and industry organizations: