Oysters, Tangiers (Maryland)

Product #: 33030T

Scientific Name: Crassostrea virginica

Country of Origin: United States

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Catch Info:

  • Mehtod:
    Off-Bottom Culture
  • Gear:
    Raft culture
SeaWatch Catch Methods details visible here


Harvested along the entire east coast of the US and Canada, eastern oysters take on the flavors of the waters around them, thus oysters are often named by their origin. Salinity is the biggest factor, but temperature can affect their size and texture as well. Eastern oysters tend to be salty and meaty.

Eastern oysters are found along the Atlantic coast of North America and throughout the Gulf of Mexico.

Eastern oysters are both wild harvested (primarily in the Gulf of Mexico) and farmed (primarily along the Atlantic coast of the U.S. and Canada). Many wild populations have decline substantially due to habitat loss, coastal pollution, and overharvest. Now wild oyster harvest is regulated to conserve what remains and in some areas wild beds are being rehabilitated to increase populations. Wild oysters are harvested with dredges or tongs, which is a fairly gentle method. Farmed oysters are usually raised in bags or racks or attached to ropes in their native habitats. Oysters are filter feeders, removing excess nutrients and particulate matter from the water as they feed, actually improving water quality in the surrounding area.

The form is stout and the meat tender. The flavor is gently saline with a finish that is clean and elemental. The island is miles away from the rivers and tributaries of the mainland and from the mainstream culture. This is wide-open water, the back of the beyond, the heart of Chesapeake seafood. These oysters that feed naturally in the sweet spot of the water column, on a perfect mix of nutrients and salt, are the best. This unique culture—both marine and human—could exist nowhere else.

External Links:

Tangier Island website

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