The early years Carly, Pam, Todd, Chad & Glyn working as a family
In 1989 Glyn and Pam Owen were operating a small building business in Port Lincoln and a long time friend, Gary Olds approached them about diversifying into oyster farming in Coffin Bay and they apply for an aquaculture lease in Mt Dutton Bay (in the Coffin bay Waterways).Due to financial restraints the lease was developed at weekends with the help of their 3 children.
After 3 years the Mt Dutton Bay lease doesn’t prove to be very lucrative due to only producing fat oysters for 3 months of the year. With 4 other oyster farmers they applied for a research and development lease in Port Douglas Bay, which is an outer bay in the Coffin Bay Waterways. This area was always thought to be too rough weather for oyster farming. Within 2 months it proved to be viable in both fattening and structurally. The 5 farmers applied to PIRSA for a 10 Ha lease each.
However 6 years was spent in court, fighting environmentalists and other oyster farmers. Eventually a deal was brokered and the leases were granted.
In 2000 the 5 oyster farmers bought 500 acres of Horse Peninsula and an Aquaculture Zone was created. This gave the farmers access to both Mt Dutton Bay and Port Douglas Bay. Over the next 2 years individual sheds with connecting roads, power, water and communal chiller rooms were built.
The business had 10 extremely good years of sales which resulted in the expansion of sheds and new equipment being purchased.
Glyn and Pam Owen started farming using the rack and rail system with 2 pillow baskets on wooden sticks which rested on the racks and secured with rubber rings.
In 2010 the long line system was adopted which uses 4 wires, 100m in length, strung from posts with several clips at different heights. The oyster bags hang on clips from the wires which can be changed in height according to tide, weather and management requirements. This allows the waves to rumble the oysters giving a clean and even shape.