Who Grows Your Oysters?

Who Grows Your Oysters?

If you order a dozen oysters anywhere between Montauk and New York City these days, there’s a good chance they will be Montauk Pearls, grown in Lake Montauk. The Montauk Shellfish Company’s mariculture farm, located on the east side of the lake, is thriving. Its “surface-grown and ocean-finished,” method is the first of its kind in New York State.

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“The surface growout is key,” said Mr. Doall. “The oysters are tumbled by wave action, which makes a harder shell, and a better shape. Sunlight helps control bio-fouling. We flip the bags once a week. And there’s more phytoplankton, their food, on the surface.”

After the oysters grow to about two inches from hinge to bill they are taken offshore into Block Island Sound for “ocean finishing.” Mr. Doall called Block Island Sound the cleanest water in the state, “and saltier than the lake. It impacts the taste, giving it a clean, fresh, salty finish.”

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