It’s Not All About Lobster: Maine’s Flourishing Oyster Farms
To many, Maine is synonymous with lobster – and understandably so. But Maine’s oyster farmers deserve a little love too. The industry is growing fast and with good reason. Maine’s inner coastal waters provide excellent conditions for oyster farming. The result? Maine Oysters are a delicacy many travelers seek out.
Oyster farming is hard work, as the husband and wife team of Eric Horne and Valy Staverlynck, owners of Maine Oysters, Inc., will tell you. They harvest between 200 and 250 thousand oysters in a good year. Known by the name Flying Point Oysters, they feature their own distinctive taste and texture because of the specific waters in which the oysters are grown.
Flying Point Oysters, as Eric Horne described them, are known for their complex flavor with a hint of saltiness and a pronounced sweetness. “It’s analogous to wine coming from different parts of a state or country,” he explained. “When people are out enjoying oysters, it’s really fun to try oysters from different locations.”
Valy was quick to add, “Because the oysters in Maine grow more slowly (due to the coldness of the water), they are a lot thicker and have much more meat inside the shell. They have incredible amounts of protein and very little fat. So they’re a very healthy source of protein.”
There are a growing number of oyster farms in Maine, each harvesting their own unique variety. Maine oysters are known for their high quality and boutique nature. And the flourishing industry is steadily increasing the supply. Not surprisingly, the demand at area restaurants and oyster bars is increasing as well. Once you’ve tasted a Maine oyster, you’re pretty much hooked. Or, more apropos, comfortably netted.
To hear more about oyster farming from Eric and Valy, watch the video above. For more information about Maine's oyster industry, visit The Maine Oyster Trail.