Thanks to a well-connected online community, learn how oyster farmers in Japan are successfully growing their prized Pacific oysters using Hoopers equipment in this post by Senior Manager Chris Wyer.
Almost six years ago, an up-and-coming aquaculture farmer named Takashi Suzuki (below right) discovered Hoopers Island’s signature FLUPSY (floating upweller system) in an online search.
After shipping two systems half-way around the world to Hiroshima – where Japan’s oyster culture originated and thrives today – we continue to provide equipment to his eponymous Farm Suzuki.
Today, Takashi’s aquaculture farm is thriving. Farm Suzuki sells and ships oysters, prawns and clams to seafood lovers in Japan and throughout the far east. They also operates a “Farmer’s Kitchen” restaurant and seafood market.
Thanks to our reputation for ‘watermen’s way’ farming systems, I was contacted in March by Takehiro Yoshimoto, regional director for SEAPA brand baskets. Mr. Yoshimoto’s client – oyster grower Toshihiko Katakura who owns the Onagawa Oyster Farm — had also found us online. And he too wanted to procure a FLUPSY.
Working through Mr. Yoshimoto, we delivered a complete FLUPSY grow-out system including deck, frame, two sets of silo baskets, ice-eater pump and accessories to the Port of Sendai in the Miyagi Prefecture. The area’s port is noted for its commercial fishing industry.
Mr. Yoshimoto recently visited Onagawa Oyster Farm and sent me photos of his visit — along with a very positive review on how its performing.
By email, he told me that Mr. Katakura is “very pleased to have solid systems in place to grow spat with little mortality thanks to the baskets.” Pictured below are Toshihiko Katakura (center) and Takehiro Yoshimoto, SEAPA (right).
We also sent them our newest upweller/downweller model to grow their seed before transfer to a FLUPSY.
With Hoopers Island FLUPSYs now hard at work in the deep-water port of Onagawa on Japan’s north east coast and Farm Suzuki in the south west, we’re humbled to have our Eastern Shore way supporting sustainable growers in the land of the rising sun.
Whether you’re growing shellfish 11,400 miles away from our base on the Eastern Shore – or somewhere much closer to Hoopers Island – we stand ready to help you start or expand your oyster farm. Call or email me to discuss how we can support you.
Fun fact: According to Statista, Japanese farmers grew 162 thousand tons of oysters – equivalent to 540,000 bushels – in 2019. The Pacific oyster (magaki) and Rock oyster (iwagaki) are the two most popular species harvested in Japan.