Shellfish culturing produces healthy seafood and provides restorative impact by improving the ecosystems in which the bivalves are farmed. Shellfish mariculture is an environmentally sustainable activity over which the government together with the shellfish farmers and other industry members have developed a set of mandatory operational standards. Coastal communities, First Nations, government and the shellfish industry work together to strike a balance between the competing resource users and determine the most appropriate sites for shellfish production.
QUALICUM BAY SCALLOPS
The cultured Qualicum Bay scallops are grown in mesh bags or trays which are suspended from secured flotation devices in nutrient-rich Georgia Strait. As a filter feeder, the Qualicum Bay scallop draws naturally occurring tiny plant and animal plankton through its gills. One of the largest species, the Qualicum Bay scallop has an ivory to pinkish white meat that is shiny and firm with an aroma that is both sweet and briny.
The Hokkaido (or Japanese) scallop fishery is recognized as one of the great fishery restoration stories. After declining precipitously, the introduction of new seed-production apparatus and culturing techniques contributed to a recovery which has seen annual production increase six-fold, making it the world’s largest scallop harvest. Operating sustainably with minimal impact on marine eco-systems enabled the Hokkaido scallop fishery to achieve certification to the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) global standard for sustainable and well-managed fisheries. Tender and sweet, the Hokkaido scallop is prized as sashimi or grilled.
Organic Ocean supplies a number of premium varieties of those oysters which are cultured and harvested along the B.C. coast. Drawing their flavor from the nutrient-rich waters of the north Pacific, these oysters are known for their distinctive and remarkable taste characteristics. Growing these oysters in off-bottom cages also contributes to the delicate flavor while tumbling channels the oysters’ energy into the development of the thick, deep and round cup that is coveted by oyster lovers.
SALISH SEA MUSSELS
Having won two international taste awards, this variety of Mediterranean mussel is larger, wider, plumper, sweeter and more tender than the other commercially available mussels. Sustainably cultivated in pristine, deep water bays, the Salish Sea mussels are grown from floating rafts so that they are always grit-free and glossy shelled. At harvest time, ropes covered with the plump Salish Sea mussels are lifted into boats and the mussels are carefully removed and shipped live with their beards on, to maintain quality and shelf life. The stunning purple-black shells hide nuggets of buttery meat with a rich mushroomy sea flavor.
PACIFIC MANILA CLAMS
Our Pacific Manila clams are harvested daily from natural beds and then purged in sea water so that they are always fresh, plump and free of sand. Harvested at three to four years old and less than a couple of inches across, they are available fresh year round. Pacific Manila clams are tender and very sweet tasting – sweeter than East coast clams – and bring a dish to life with their striped colorful shells, making them a favorite of chefs.