Meet Oyster Farmer

posted in: Blog, Front Page | 1

Operated by Erik (CEO), Julian (Head of Enthusiasm), Iris (Just Plain Cute), and Naomi (Likes the Scenery). Oh right, and grandpa Rich (Does All the Work).

Five years ago the shellfish industry reached right out and pulled me in, and I gave myself to it completely. Here on Cortes, I found myself at home, with a family, and I found oysters so beautiful they were crying out to be shared with the world. I also found hard-bitten old timers, stoic survivors of the ups and downs in an industry that once prospered in the region. An industry now reduced to a shell of its former self. I owe a huge debt of gratitude to those patient farmers who have stuck it out, happy to pass on their experience, and they showed me opportunity everywhere I looked.

That’s how I got my start, out at midnight in December, in the wilderness, in the pouring rain, Glory!  It can be hard work to be sure, but it’s a small price to pay for the privilege of spending your days on the water, in the intertidal zone, where the action is. It’s a dynamic environment that sharpens your senses, its always changing, but then it perseveres. Many of the beaches I work have been providing people with sustenance for thousands of years.  It is an honour to harvest shellfish from sites that First Nations people have been cultivating for countless generations, undersea gardens full of life. It fills me with wonder and respect.

It is with this perspective that we set out to produce the very best shellfish we can, and like farmers everywhere know, you can’t just harvest without giving back. So with a view to the future, we went and bought some oyster seed and set out to work with nature.  The deep dark waters of the Salish Sea pulse with life, algae streaming in on powerful rising tides. It is a seemingly endless food supply for our oysters we suspend in cages, feeding on the flow. The cold, nutrient-rich water makes for clean, plump and sweet oysters, and it fills us with pride to share them.

Erik Lyon


See you at the Seafest, Gorge Harbour Marina Resort, Saturday, May 19, 2018, 10:30 until the food lasts.