Selectively Breeding Oysters of the future

Carlsbad Aquafarm's staff works with USC’s Wrigley Marine Lab in selectively breeding oysters more resilient to a changing ocean. Our oysters are cultured and harvested by applying the highest standards of sustainable ocean farming practices.


Our crops of oysters & mussels are supported by floats that ride upon strong, tidal currents. Each new day brings greater than 750 million gallons of fresh seawater and nutrients to feed our shellfish. Our oysters & mussels grow in submerged trays and lines suspended above a sandy seafloor by anchored floats.

Our shellfish grow in submerged trays and lines suspended above a sandy seafloor by anchored floats. Each ball float holds a stack of oyster trays. Growing oysters in trays above the seafloor protects them from predatory sea stars, whelks, crabs, birds and fish, and avoids disease and mortality caused by siltation and seafloor contaminants.

Our oysters are harvested in the mornings regularly for tumbling. Each oyster is gently tumbled every 5 weeks to emulate the natural fluctuations of tidal flow and surf rushing to shore. Like the constant rolling motion of surf and sand, the tumbling invigorates our oysters and polishes their glassy shells.  

Tumbling and washing in a spray of fresh seawater cleans any mud from the oyster shells, and trims the shell’s leading edge, called frill. The result is a deeply cupped, blonde shell, often streaked with trademarked purple and white stripes

Carlsbad Aquafarm was the first oyster farm to implement a depuration & purification process. When oysters reach market size they are immersed in triple-filtered seawater - a purification procedure that ensures the highest quality and product safety. After FDA test certification, shellfish are packed on ice and sold to customers. UV, mesh & sand filters are a part of our filtration regime that we use daily on the farm. This ensures a safe and reliably delicious final product.

It takes patience to hand-raise shellfish. Farming in harmony with the natural rhythms of the sea cannot be rushed. Our patience is rewarded with delicious, meaty oysters with subtle notes of melon and cucumber and a clean, briny finish.  

Each oyster is a masterpiece of bioengineering perfected by Mother Nature over a span of 510 million years.  Enjoy this gift from the sea, packed with proteins, vitamins A, E, C, B12, zinc, iron, calcium, selenium and Omega-3s.