Oyster Varieties UK


UK Pacific Oysters

 

UK Native Oysters

 

 

 

 

UK Pacific Oyster Appearance -
Elongated in shape with a deep cupped bottom shell, rough and frilled with sharp edges.

UK Native Oyster Appearance -
Rounded in shape with a shallow cupped bottom shell, smooth and brittle with dull edges.

UK Pacific Oyster
The Pacific Oyster (Crassostrea gigas) is also known as the Rock Oyster, Japanese Oyster or Miyagi Oyster. The Pacific Oyster is native to Japan, where it has been cultivated for hundreds of years.
 
In 1965, the Pacific Oyster was introduced to the UK to replace the low stocks of the Native Oyster, which had been severely over-fished for years. Take a look at Oyster History to find out more. Today, the Pacific Oyster represents over 98% of the world’s harvested oysters.
 
The Pacific Oyster takes 18 to 30 months to develop to market size (60mm or more), dependent upon specific site conditions. For example, site location, tides, water temperatures, water salinity and nutrients.
 
Pacific Oysters are usually sorted into four different sizes (S, M, L, XL) based on the weight of the oyster. Pacific Oysters are available for sale all year.

UK Kumamoto Oyster
The Kumamoto Oyster (Crassostrea sikamea) used to be known as a type of Pacific Oyster, but is in fact its own species. Native to Japan, the Kumamoto Oyster is very small in size. Kumamoto Oysters are available for sale all year.

Buy oysters
Buy fresh oysters online with our Oyster Map UK
All oysters shown are responsibly and sustainably harvested from their pristine coastal waters by EU licensed oyster farms in the UK.
 
 
UK Native Oyster
The Native Oyster (Ostrea edulis) is also known as the European Flat Oyster or Common Oyster. Native to the UK and Europe, the Native Oyster has been fished and farmed in the UK since Roman times.
 
Today, the Native Oyster is more expensive than the Pacific Oyster.
 
Native Oysters take 34 to 48 months to develop to market size (62mm or more), dependant upon specific site conditions (For example, site location, tides, water temperatures, water salinity and nutrients etc.).
 
Native Oysters are sorted into four different sizes, based on the size of the oyster: Grade 1 (XL), Grade 2 (L), Grade 3 (M), and Grade 4 (S).
 
By UK law, Native Oysters are available for sale only between 1 September to 30 April only (all months that contain the letter "r"). This allows Native Oyster stocks to recover, and helps to ensure the sustainability of the UK Native Oyster industry. In any case, outside of these months, the oysters spawn and the meat quality is at its lowest.

Buy oysters
Buy fresh oysters online with our Oyster Map UK
All oysters shown are responsibly and sustainably harvested from their pristine coastal waters by EU licensed oyster farms in the UK.
Did you know...
The oyster is a bivalve mollusc. Other bivalve molluscs include, scallops, mussells, clams, cockles and razor shells. Scientists estimate that there are over 9,200 species of bivalve molluscs!
 
Oysters live in brackish water habitats or marine environments. Brackish water is water that has more salinity than fresh water, but not as much as seawater. Backish water is where fresh water meets and mixes with salt water. Types of brackish water include estuaries, lakes, lochs, lagoons, marshes and certain sea waters.

The oyster is an effective filter feeder that removes phytoplankton (microscopic plants) and nutrients from the water. In fact, one oyster can filter up to 227 litres (399 pints) of water each day.

Oyster reefs or beds play a very important part in the improvement of the quality and clarity of their local waters. Oyster reefs are ecosystems, and provide habitats for marine life such as fish, shrimp, crabs and more. In fact, over 170 species have been recently recorded on oyster reefs in one location alone! Oyster reefs help to protect coasts, bays, estuaries, and marshes from erosion.
 
The oyster is often named from where it's cultivated. Oyster connoisseurs like to identify what area an oyster comes from simply by the appearance of its shell and its unique taste.
 
Oyster shells can be reycled and used in many ways. For example, oyster shells contain a high proportion of calcium carbonate: crushed oyster shells are used as a supplement to poultry food, as chickens need high calcium to create hard shells.