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Oysters Wellfleet (Massachusetts)

Product #: 33030WF

Scientific Name: Mercenaria mercenaria

Country of Origin: United States

$89.65 /BU (minimum: 1 BU)


Catch Info:

  • Mehtod:
    Bottom Culture
  • Gear:
    Bottom culture
View details of SeafoodWatch Catch Methods


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 nutrient rich coastal waters of this region are fed by currents originating in northern Maine & the Canadian Maritime Provinces. The phytoplankton rich waters provide the Wellfleet oysters everything they need to produce a consistently exceptional oyster. The relatively cold water helps slow the metabolism of the oyster, which causes the oyster to build reserves of glycogen which gives the oyster a sweeter flavor. Wellfleet oysters have a relatively high salinity index of 28 parts/thousand.

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