Life, in the beginning, starts at Yumbah’s purpose-built hatchery. Our biologists select prime broodstock from our hatchery-raised production to spawn.
Eggs fertilised by sperm hatch twenty-four hours later, producing beautiful free-swimming oyster larvae. Larvae are steadily fed a formulated diet of microalgae for two weeks until they reach the next stage of their life cycle – the pediveliger stage. During this transition the larvae transform from free-swimming to crawling larvae.
The pediveliger larvae are coaxed to settle down individually in tanks, rather than onto rocks and shells. These single oysters (spat) are then transferred to our creche.
While in our creche, our oyster spat receives daily attention from our skilled technicians. Here they monitor the health of our spat with a microscope and tailor diets to maximise fish health. Diet is comprised of specialised algae, which is grown in-house by our team. This daily monitoring continues until spat reaches 2mm in size.
Once oyster spat has reached 2mm in size, it is transferred to our land-based nursery. The nursery works as a transition from a controlled lab setting to the wild, great Southern Ocean.
Here the spat is monitored and nurtured until it reaches approximately 5-6mm in size. On average, this 3-4mm growth takes 12 months. At this point, spat is either transferred to our grow out facility in Dunally, Tasmania or Mount Dutton Bay, South Australia, or sold to local oyster farmers.
Once our oyster spat has reached 5-6mm in size, they are sent to our grow out facility in Dunally, Tasmania, or our spat bank in Mount Dutton Bay. Here groups of approximately 2000 oyster spat are placed into baskets and introduced to the great Southern Ocean. Oysters are left to grow naturally, filter feeding from the nutrient rich waters.
As oysters grow, the free space in baskets is reduced. So, to ensure oysters have the room they need to grow, the team at Cameron of Tasmania grade and transfer approximately half of the oyster spat from each basket to a new basket. This process happens approximately 10 times over the grow out period of 2-3 years.
After 2-3years of grow out, oysters have grown to a size of 60-100mm. At this time, they are harvested and taken back to our Eaglehawk Neck or Boomer Bay facility for processing. Here they are graded, processed and packaged. We use a combination of automated machinery and visual grading to ensure only the best quality oysters make it through our stringent quality control process.
Once oysters have been given the all-clear by our quality control team, they are packed into a variety of package types and sent to our discerning customers both in Australia and around the world.