Oyster Grow-Out System

North Island College, in partnership with Rising Tide Shellfish, will construct and field test a new oyster grow-out system which requires less labour than standard grow-out trays.

Project Dates: September 1, 2020 – August 31, 2021
Funding Amount: $25,000
Students Hired: 2

Researcher holds an oyster for a new grow-out system.

Project Summary

The British Columbia shellfish aquaculture industry is comprised of nearly 300 producers, most of which are small- and medium-sized enterprises located in small coastal communities. Pacific oysters are the most commercially important farmed shellfish in BC by weight and value. There is an immediate need for a new oyster grow-out system that is practical for farmers and improves oyster survival in the face of changing environmental conditions.

Rising Tide Shellfish (RTS) has created an innovative method for raising Pacific oysters that requires less labour than standard grow-out trays, and early testing shows much higher oyster survival. In this project, NSERC will support North Island College and RTS in the construction and field testing of a more refined and effective prototype.

The researchers will test oyster growth and survival in the new system as well as in the standard oyster trays. Not only will the new grow-out system improve RTS' production efficiency and profit, but it could have far-reaching opportunities throughout the BC shellfish aquaculture sector.

Research Team

Scott McGregor, Researcher
Scott is a professional Physicist with a background in physics, mathematics and environmental engineering. A lifelong love of teaching led Scott to return to instructing physics at North Island College in 2019. For the previous 15 years, Scott worked as an Environmental Scientist in the field of environmental engineering. During this time, he conducted and managed environmental investigations, remediation planning and hydrogeological investigations.
Allison Byrne, Researcher
Allison Byrne (Allie) is a researcher in NIC’s Centre for Applied Research, Technology and Innovation where her focus is applied aquaculture research. Most of her work involves field-based seaweed and shellfish research projects that engage local industry partners and NIC students. Allie has an MSc in Geography from the University of Victoria.
Erik Lyon, Founder and CEO, Rising Tide Shellfish
Erik is committed to growing Rising Tide Shellfish into a regional industry leader. He designed the innovative oyster grow-out system that will be tested during the project and will work directly with the researchers to develop and test the prototype.
Johnny Marshall, Student Research Assistant
Johnny is a second-year Engineering UVIC Dual Admission student at NIC. He's grateful that he has had the chance to be part of such an interesting design project with real-life applications. He is passionate about math and physics and will pursue a career in Civil Engineering after he transfers to UVIC and completes his degree.

Partners

News Stories and Coverage

NIC partners with Rising Tide Shellfish on new oyster grow-out system