Moreton Bay Rock Oysters Pty Ltd is a family run company, producing rock oysters in the crystal clear waters of Moreton Bay, Queensland. Our Oysters are prized for their flavour and texture. The oysters are wild caught right in Moreton Bay, so from harvest to your plate, it is all done in the pristine pure waters of Moreton Bay Marine Parks. Moreton Island is 98% National Park, which has a World Conservation Union (IUCN) category of II. The park is managed by the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service. Toulkerrie is the locality at the southern end of the island near Kooringal township.
MEET THE FARMER
Growing up on a cattle and lucerne farm in Murgon, Queensland, which is hundreds of kilometers from the ocean, Wade worked as a butcher and later established abattoirs in Indonesia for Australian Companies. A chance offer in 1997 by his then-boss to work on an oyster farm saw Wade enter the world of oyster farming and he hasn’t looked back.
Shortly into his oyster career, Wade purchased Moreton Bay Rock Oysters Pty Ltd in 2005 and together with his partner, Sandy, has been managing the farm’s continual expansion.
The Moreton Bay Rock Oyster is a species similar to the Sydney Rock Oyster, with a flavor unique to the beautiful environment where it is grown. Most Sydney Rock Oysters available to the market are grown in rivers, our oysters are oceanic-grown providing a salty, sweet aftertaste.
Demand for the Rock Oyster is increasing as consumers appreciate the importance of sustainably-farmed Australian seafood produced in its natural environment.
It takes us around 3 years to grow a plate sized oyster, and our oysters are typically available between the months of September – March, depending on seasonal conditions. We sell cocktail, bottled, bistro and plate sized oysters to wholesalers, retailers and restaurants.
Our oysters are organically grown and our farm is not rainfall affected. Regular water testing overseen by Safefoods Queensland ensures a healthy, high quality product for our customers.
Our farm is situated in the protected waters of the Moreton Island Marine Park and includes a land base of 1 hectare in the locality of Toulkerrie (near Kooringal), together with 37 hectares over 8 leases. We are approximately 20km from the capital of Queensland, Brisbane.
Moreton Island comprises 98% National Park, and has an International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Category II. The park is managed by the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service. Our oyster leases are within designated Moreton Island growing areas and we are committed to protecting the beautiful environment we are so lucky to live and work in.
Our land base includes a family residence, processing shed and accommodation for the many WWOOFers we host. Six years of composting has seen our organic fruit and vegetable garden thrive and we are now able to enjoy our own fresh produce.
Sustainable Farming Practices
We use an environmentally sustainable method of farming with the BST System which won the 2010 National Landcare Award for Sustainable Farm Practices. Our Farm generates its own power via a solar system and we collect our own rainwater, ensuring minimal environmental impact.
How we farm Oysters
Single seed culture (Spat) is caught by a PVC slat system. When the oysters are still only 3 – 8 mm in diameter they are broken off and placed in small mesh bags. This system provides an excellent protection from predators and the early removal of the oyster prevents a misshaped or clumped oyster. We ensure a faster growth rate and better shaped oyster with this method. The oysters are then graded every 3 to 4 weeks until the oyster reaches 25mm to 30mm, which takes normally 6 months.
Our Growing System
We use the adjustable long line oyster farming system: BST. It was developed by 3 oyster growers in Cowell, South Australia, to suit rough and weedy conditions. This system allows us to raise and lower the height of the oyster lines to promote shell grow and condition of the fish.
From our farm to you
We deliver farm-fresh Oysters via our distributors to locations around South-East Queensland. Learn more about our Stockists here.
Overseen by Wade McFadgen, our farm team includes Wade’s partner Sandy, Moreton Island residents and WWOOFers (Willing Workers on Organic Farms) who come from countries such as France, Canada, Sweden, Germany and Scotland.
We welcome applications from WWOOFers interested in experiencing island life and our special brand of Queensland hospitality. To find out more email us firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.wwoof.com.au to find out more WWOOFing.