In the year since earning Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification, two Jersey-based oyster farms in the Channel Islands- Jersey Oyster Company and Jersey Sea Farms- are enjoying export sales of ASC labelled oysters.
After achieving ASC certification last February, the Jersey Oyster Company has expanded its export market. Since July 2015 the farm has been supplying ASC certified oysters into Switzerland and in October of that year they expanded to Dubai. Today it exports an estimated eight tonnes of ASC certified oysters into Switzerland and 2.5 tonnes to Dubai.
“We are extremely happy to be exporting our ASC certified oysters into both Switzerland and Dubai. We hope to expand our reach into new markets in the coming year while increasing the amount of our quality product into all established markets,” said Chris Le Masurier, managing director of Jersey Oyster Company.
The Jersey Oyster Company is a family-owned business owned by Mr Le Masurier, a third generation Jersey oyster farmer, who has been involved with the business since 1998. The company’s farm has grown over time and is currently 25.1 hectares.
Jersey Sea Farms have developed a novel aquaculture system for the native European Oyster, Ostrea edulis, called Microreef. This sustainable farming system is fully compliant with the company’s ASC certification. In the early autumn of this year, the first oysters produced through the new method will be ready to go to market. According to Jersey Sea Farm’s owner Tony Legg, “This September’s oysters will be a ‘true closed loop aquaculture product’, with every step from broodstock selection to final harvesting happening within the farm system. To the best of our knowledge this is a first for this fickle species, and to have a clear demonstration of certified sustainability is a real bonus.”
Certification for responsible oyster farming
Following assessment by Control Union Peru (CUP), these oyster farms became certified against the ASC Bivalves Standard in early 2015.
All of Jersey’s oysters benefit directly from the daily natural filtering effect of Jersey’s unique tide and crystal clear water that is warmed by the Gulf Stream. They are harvested from the Royal Bay of Grouville, facing the Normandy coast.
Jersey Oyster Company presented their first ASC certified oyster samples at the 2015 Seafood Expo Global in Brussels. The company is looking forward to doing the same again at the 2016 show at the end of April.