Guernsey and Herm Oysters are a family run business. Charlotte and Justin are truly passionate about delivering exceptional service and produce to their customers.
What Makes Our Oysters Unique?
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.
Also, given that Guernsey is one of the few places not suffering with the oyster disease (OsHV-1) Guernsey Sea Farms supply clean oyster seed to farms all over the world. Dubai, Canada, Scotland to name a few.
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.
When it comes to choosing a sustainably farmed seafood, the oyster is very hard to beat.
The majority of the oysters for consumption are the product of aquaculture and unlike many farmed fish, these shellfish have little negative impact on their surrounding environment, and as our oyster farms are well managed, the result is a sustainable operation.
As the oyster seed is grown from Brood Stock supplied by us at the Guernsey Hatchery, there is no risk of species contamination.
One of the most common concerns with most aquaculture is farm effluent that runs off into the surrounding habitat, causing problems like algae blooms. Oysters, as with other shellfish like mussels, do not pose these sorts of problems. In fact, because oysters are a filter-feeding bivalve, they actually clean the water around them.
The installation of an oyster farm can actually be a very effective way to clean up a polluted bay since a mature oyster is able to filter up to 55 gallons of water per day.
Another major concern with many fish farms is the impact that farmed fish may escape and interbreed with wild fish, muddling the gene pool. But since oysters aren’t mobile until they reach adulthood (and are ready to be harvested and eaten), intermixing isn’t much of an issue. Furthermore, oyster farmers don’t need to use pesticides or antibiotics to keep their oysters healthy, nor do the oysters need to be given feed.
All in all, oysters, are very well-suited for farming. They are very low in saturated fat and contain lots of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin A, zinc, magnesium, and calcium, among others.’