Killowen Shellfish Ltd. are a family run business that specialise in the growing of quality oysters in the waters of Carlingford Lough. We grow both pacific oysters “Crassostrea gigas” and also our native flat oysters. Our aim is to provide the best quality oysters in Ireland. The site is one of the biggest in Ireland, so our oysters aren’t packed densely into a small area. This means we can produce possibly the best oysters in Ireland and prevent the spread of diseases and viruses.
All of our oysters are graded by hand. This is to reduce mortality as experiments with mechanised grading produced a much higher mortality rate and reduced growth.
The oysters are bought in as seed which are about the size of your small fingernail and cared for until they are large enough to be eaten, which is approximately 70 grams. This process takes about 18 months to two years. The oysters feed on Phytoplankton which they filter from the water, with the majority of growth taking place between late Spring and early Autumn as there is more food available to them.
The majority of our stock is shipped to France, Germany and Italy as the Irish market isn’t as big as that of mainland Europe.
We can also provide an on-growing service for other oyster growers, where we will care for bags and ship them back to the owner once they reach a certain size or after a specified time frame.
Our oysters have featured in Jamie Oliver’s magazine. Oysters are a versatile shellfish and can be prepared in many ways, not just the traditional straight down the hatch method!