Our Peconic Pearls© oysters are grown to look pretty, taste great and best of all raise proceeds for projects that benefit the Peconic Estuary.
What We Grow
The members of the Noank Aquaculture Cooperative grow mainly oysters. We also grow hard clams or quahogs, and bay scallops. Our premier product in New York, the Peconic Pearlsâ„¢ oysters, are sold with a premium attached, which helps us generate charitable contributions for projects that benefit the Peconic Estuary. We work with our partners, the National Grid Foundation and the Peconic Land Trust to select environmental projects that will benefit the Peconic Estuary.
How We Grow
Our shellfish seed, oysters, clams and bay scallops, are grown in a modern marine hatchery located at Shellfisher Preserve in Southold, NY. The Peconic Land Trust was gifted the preserve in 1995 by the John and Anna Plock family to insure that it continues to be a shellfish cultivation facility. The unique design engineered by the Plocks, remains in use today.
Shellfish are spawned in an indoor facility starting in the early winter. Adults are tricked into thinking they are enjoying an early spring and their gonads begin to ripen. The first spawns can take place in February when they are tricked into thinking it is the 4th of July. Like fireworks, they release their eggs and sperm into the water. The gametes are collected, eggs are fertilized and one day later,microscopic shellfish larvae are swimming in a tank of water. They have two shells and look like a D with eyelashes.
After two weeks of swimming and eating yummy microscopic plants (algae), the larvae stop swimming, and become spat. They are miniature versions of the adult shellfish. When they are about the size of a pinhead, they are moved to a shore-side system called an upweller or FLUPSY (floating upweller system). Bay water flows through the mesh bottom containers and provides the shellfish with food. Once they are large enough, they are planted in the bay and grown to market size either on the bottom or in mesh containers that protect them from predators.