As featured in this National Geographic article, sustainability is the cornerstone of oyster production for W.E. Kellum. We recognize and practice conservation for the propagation of oysters for ecology, as well as the prodigy for future oyster populations.
Our company works closely with the Virginia Marine Resources Commission on oyster sanctuary reefs, as well as replenishment of public oyster beds throughout the Chesapeake Bay.
We also use our technique of setting oyster larvae on shells in a controlled environment as another method of sustainability.
Termed “spat on shell”, this procedure uses oyster larvae, or spat, as it is referred to in the industry, to create an artificial spawn in huge tanks of sea water. The shell with the baby oysters is then transferred to our wild private oyster beds and also placed on protected sanctuary reefs. These oysters are saved for summer harvest when demand is lower and local labor is shucking.
Generations of Kellums have served on the Virginia Marine Resource’s “Shellfish Replenishment Committee.”
This group is charged with overseeing the balance of harvest and sanctuary areas, as well as the overall health of oyster populations. Through science and sound management practices, we can ensure that future generations enjoy the oyster resources both as a food source as well as an ecological contributor for years to come.