Emerald Tides Oyster Company is a locally owned and operated oyster farm located in Santa Rosa county's East Bay. The farm can be seen from Garcon Point Bridge on the south side of the bay, just East of the bridge. We proudly display the American and Florida flags on our corner pilings!
The farm uses 100% sustainable and environmentally friendly techniques. Our oysters are captive spawned in hatcheries, so that we do not interfere with the natural native oyster populations. Raising oysters in floating cages has minimal effect on the bottom ecosystem. Harvest requires no bottom contact, unlike most bottom culture methods that rake or comb the seafloor. The water quality and ecosystem is actually improved by the oysters' filtration qualities as well as the additional habitat provided by the cages. The abundance of fish and crustaceans that live in/on/around the cages, where there previously was only open water with bare sand bottom, shows the environmental benefits of the farm.
Our intensive culture methods produce oysters with a very high meat to shell ratio. The motion of the cages, as well as multiple shell grooming techniques, gives the oysters a beautiful, deep cup shape. In contrast to bottom culture farming, our unique method requires more expense, labor, and care, but results in a far superior product. We take pride in going the extra mile to produce beautiful, premium oysters of unsurpassed quality, while being ecologically responsible.
In addition to enjoying their beauty and fantastic flavor, be assured that our oysters come from waters that are constantly monitored for purity. Florida has some of the strictest water quality requirements anywhere. Our bays are routinely tested by FDACS. Any water test results showing the possibility of contamination anywhere in the bay result in total shutdown of harvest in the entire area until conditions return to normal. We also carefully follow all recommended harvest procedures and processing requirements, allowing us to safely harvest year round.
Our farm is located in some of the most prestine waters of East Bay. Our farm site was chosen in large part because of the water purity (current and historical test results provided by FDACS) in our area of the bay. The state recently rezoned areas near the river mouths far north of our farm that had the highest rate of failed bacterial count tests. The closure of these trouble areas not only helps harvesters by keeping the unaffected, cleaner areas of the bay open, but also inspires confidence that the area is being intensely managed for safety. We are working hard to refute and disprove the local media's grossly exagerated claims that the entire Pensacola Bay System's water quality is questionable.
While we do strongly believe that every effort should be made to preserve and improve the health of our bay system, the bulk of recent claims circulating are unfounded and simply not true.
Emerald Tides Oyster Co. is currently one of the very few (if not the only) oyster farm(s) certified by the state of Florida for on-board cooling our product. This means that during the warmer months, our oysters go straight from the water into our on-board refrigeration unit. This quick-chill process further reduces any chance of issues with bacterial infection.
If you like fresh, clean, beautiful Gulf oysters, please treat yourself to Emerald Tides oysters...you won't be disappointed!