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Blackwater Oysters’ oysters are cultivated in the nutrient-rich waters around Tollesbury and the beautiful Mersea Island. Oysters from these creeks are famed for their excellent quality and flavour and have been admired the world over for many years.
Our oyster layings are well established, having supporting oyster cultivation for over 500 years and been worked by Blackwater Oysters for over 30 years.

We cultivate two types of oyster; the Native and the pacific Gigas or commonly known, Rock oyster. Native oysters are typically available between September and April when there is an “R in the month”. Rock oysters are available all year round.

The oysters are cultivated in creeks of Mersea & Tollesbury oyster beds and, when ready for market, are harvested by hand picking & using our own fishing boat, Virley Native.

Once ready for processing, the oysters are brought to our own CEFAS-approved, shellfish purification (or depuration) centre on the waterfront at Tollesbury for treatment. This meets all the standards required by the Food Standard Agency. This bespoke facility can be scaled to ensure we produce the correct number of oysters for the market so they are always fresh and ready.

The depuration process involves circulating salt/fresh water mix through the oysters, which is treated with UV light for 42 hours to destroy bacteria and impurities. At the end of the depuration process a selection of treated oysters from each batch is sent for independent batch-testing for a “Health Mark” to ensure purity before sale.

With the introduction of a fully-owned depuration facility, Blackwater Oysters is now managing the end-to-end oyster process so you can be assured of the quality and safety of the product.

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