Pacific Gold Oysters

Pacific Gold Oysters are a beautiful, hardy species that thrive in the cold, rich waters of Morro Bay. Their home is a unique bay found on the central coast of California where the strong wind and waves meet the peaceful streams that flow from age old volcanic aquifers. This convergence of elements brings with it constant changes in salinity, temperature, nutrients, and tides. The Pacific Gold Oyster adapts to these changes over the course of its life and develops a robust flavor. When coastal storms bring rain and the salinity drops in the oyster beds, the Pacific Gold Oyster will develop a distinct melon finish. The strong northwest winds of spring cause the upwelling of cold, salty, nutrient rich water that is found deep near the ocean floor. The strong tides bring this water into the farm twice a day allowing our oysters to explode with growth and take on the fresh salty brine that surrounds them.

The Farming Process

Pacific Gold Oysters spend the first 6 to 8 months of their life in our nursery being carefully looked after on a daily basis. They are kept submerged for almost that entire time so that we can ensure they are given everything they need to grow and develop before we move them into a harsher environment. Once they have reached full potential in the nursery we separate them from the densely filled holding tank and transfer them to our growing area. They live in strong mesh bags that allow the water to carry plankton freely through the farm, feeding all of our oysters as they grow in their bags. These bags are fixed to long floating lines that rise and fall with the tide. They float just beneath the surface of the water, high above the mud, where the plankton is most abundant. The consistent wave action tumbles and shapes the thin new shell, forming a deep, layered cup that can withstand the stresses of Mother Nature. Once the tide subsides the oysters must flex their muscles tight to keep their shell closed and conserve the oxygen rich water inside. They will depend on this ability until the tide returns again. Here at Morro Bay Oyster Company the Pacific Golds are given the safety to grow in a harsh ocean environment and finally reach its highest potential before being harvested. After 12 – 18 months we begin the harvesting process by hand sorting each and every oyster that will go to our customers. Those that make the grade will be separated by size, bagged, and returned to our holding area. They remain submerged until we are ready to pluck them straight from the water and hand them to you.

Our Founder, Neal Maloney,  earned his degree from the University of Oregon where he studied Marine Biology and Business.  He studied Invertebrate Zoology and Marine Ecology at the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology in Coos Bay, Oregon and as well as specialized studies in Aquaculture and Conservation at Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey - Guaymas México.  Neal created Morro Bay Oyster Company in 2008 and the company has been striving to grow great oysters ever since.