Certified organic and sustainable oyster producer Angel Seafood (ASX: AS1) has kicked-off its 2021 selling season with record oyster stock numbers to underpin increasing demand from restaurants and retail avenues.
The company, which is the largest oyster producer of its kind in the southern hemisphere, resumed selling its oysters this month following the spawning season.
In readiness for the busy Easter period, Angel noted it had already experienced “continued strong demand” from both retail and restaurant sectors.
During the summer spawning season, Angel achieved “good growth rates” across all bays – generating a “significant increase” in oyster biomass.
Record oyster stock at hand
Angel’s leases also continue to operate near capacity with “record stock numbers on hand”. An overflow of oysters is being warehoused at the company’s Haslam leases.
With record numbers at hand, Angel also pointed out the risk of pacific oyster mortality syndrome (POMS) has been “significantly reduced” due to water temperatures cooling.
Commenting on the busy start to the 2021 selling season, Angel chief executive officer and founder Zac Halman said the team had continued to deliver on its commitment to producing the highest quality oysters – proven by record stock and “fantastic survivability rates” during the spawning period.
“This is an exceptional result for the company and puts us in a great position for the new sales season.”
Mr Halman added that although the sales season had started later than 2020, the momentum the company experienced last year was continuing in 2021.
“We expect this [momentum] to continue into the busy Easter trade period.”
Farming trials progressing
Under a three-pillar growth strategy, Angel plans to double its annual oyster production to 20 million while also boosting profitability.
As part of this, the company launched two innovative farming trials to boost productivity and efficiency.
The flip farming trial is gearing up to begin with Angel securing all permits, equipment and materials.
Construction is scheduled to begin by the end of the month.
The other farming trial is summer oysters with this one performing “well” through the summer period.
Grading has shown “good survival rates” of the spawnless triploid spat and these oysters are on track to be available for the 2022 summer season.
If successful, the summer oysters will extend Angel’s sales period to include the entire calendar year – up from the current sales period of 10 months.
Angel expects summer oysters will increase its annual sales up to 15% with no further investment in assets.
“Although it is still early days with our flip farming and summer oyster trials, I am excited about the early progress and the potential productivity and efficiency gains these will generate for Angel,” Mr Halman said.