Even though there are currently no standards for organic shellfish, Okeover Organic Oysters uses no chemicals at all during oyster production, ensuring that Okeover Organic Oysters are completely natural. Britain has already started certifying organic farmed seafood. According to their Certification Body's director "given the benign nature of high-quality shellfish production, they’re a natural fit with organic certification. Shellfish farming, particularly on a small scale, is generally considered an environmentally benign way to produce highly nutritious food for human consumption."
We have developed a low-impact, low-waste approach to shellfish farming, using reusable growout systems and solar-powered winches and pumps. Even the water we use in seed production is gravity fed from a spring, cutting out the need for gas-powered pumps.
Another way we have chosen to lessen our ecological footprint is in the design of our raft system. Our seed rafts are built with reused and recyclable flotation. The industry standard is to use coated styrofoam floats, which though easier to install are prone to storm and ice damage. This results in the widespread distribution of styrofoam beads. Birds and fish see these as food. Styrofoam is also non-recyclable.
We are lucky to live right above our farm and are able to walk to work. We strive to limit our use of outboard motors, and consume on average in a year what some farmers use in a month. The Honda 4-Stroke motor that we use is, according to Honda, "approximately 90 percent cleaner, 50 percent more fuel-efficient and 50 percent quieter than typical two-stroke outboard motors. More importantly, four-stroke motors do not release oil directly into the water."