The largest sustainable pacific oyster producer in the Southern Hemisphere Angel Seafood (ASX: AS1) has announced it will embark on a trial of “summer oysters” in an effort to boost its stock to meet future late summer demand.
The company will farm the shellfish using procured specimens known as triploid (or spawnless) spat (oyster larvae that has attached to a surface).
Triploid spat is a hybridisation of 20 and 40 chromosome individual specimens.
They have underdeveloped reproductive systems and unlike regular oysters, are not likely to spawn.
Angel’s 15-month trial will take place in the waters of South Australia’s remote Eyre Peninsula, where the triploid spat will benefit from established farming practices and a multi-bay strategy offering optimised growing conditions.
If all goes to plan, the company’s summer oysters will be market ready in 2022 during the spawning period of November to March when regular oysters are usually gritty and inedible.
The new produce will extend Angel’s oyster-selling season by approximately two months during peak demand periods and potentially increase its retail sales by up to 15% per year.
The summer oysters are expected to be certified organic under the company’s annual audit in the new year.
Angel chief executive officer Zac Halman said a successful summer oyster trial would allow for year-round sales to the retail market.
“This is a low-cost initiative with a potentially material upside to our top line,” he said.
“If [this] trial is successful, we will have [oysters] available for sale throughout the entire year, which will help further cement our relationships in this channel, and grow our reputation for supplying high-quality, organic seafood.”
He said the trial fits with Angel’s three-pillar growth strategy unveiled last month, where it aims to double production capacity and improve profitability through innovative farming methods.
“Growing summer oysters in the Eyre Peninsula is an exciting next step as we continue to
look at ways to grow capacity and increase profitability,” he said.
“Last week we announced the trial of FlipFarming and we will now be going ahead with the summer oyster trial – both are a testament to our commitment of continuing to drive growth through innovation while staying true to our values of sustainable and organic farming.”