Oyster production has been part of the Island's seafood industry since 1865 when a provincial statute was passed allowing individuals to lease specific areas of water to bottom-cultivate oysters.
- Oyster leases are predominantly concentrated on the north and south shores, in PEI communities like Foxley River, Conway Narrows, Egmont, Orwell and Colville Bay.
Since the 1990s, off bottom and water column production methods have been utilized by Island producers. These methods allow the oysters to more easily access food and nutrition in the water column, resulting in increased growth rates. The process also make it easier for growers to clean the oysters and equipment on a regular basis.
After grading, the oysters are processed. Currently, there are some provincially-licensed processors who purchase oysters for in-province and domestic markets. There are also 13 provincially-licensed and federally-registered processors which purchase oysters for export markets.
With concerted efforts between our dedicated growers (like the Island Oyster Growers Group), processors as well as the provincial and federal governments, PEI oysters have reached a pinnacle in their growth and are now recognized as a superior product of consistent high quality and taste. These efforts ensure that PEI oysters remain a recognized product with a major share in the world market place.