Oyster farming is a laborious job, especially historically. But in recent years, there is a greater focus on innovation, parallel to a push for more OH&S processes.
As global pioneers in automatic oyster grading technology, it’s an honour to bring to market innovations that keep farmers safe, improve bulk handling of oysters and increase profit – while having the lowest impact on our oceans.
In our 17 years serving oyster farmers, we’ve identified bottlenecks and opportunities in the process, particularly with bin tippers.
Traditionally, a forklift is required to tip out the bins of oysters onto the conveyor belt. We’ve developed hydraulic bin tippers that are air-operated and don’t require the use of a forklift. Our tippers use oil and an extra motor, replacing the forklift with a pallet jack to lift from the ground level.
This is a welcomed innovation, because it helps improve safety and saves space, without a hazardous forklift moving around the floor, expelling fumes. Pallet jacks are hand-operated and can be easily controlled to slide under the bin to elevate up and wheel away. The premise for all our technologies is to help advance the industry, just like we customised a bag trolley for a team of farmers who were breaking their backs every day tipping oysters in.
As an oyster farmer, you understand the perfect timing that’s needed to rectify barnacles. It’s a hard time to get them off and takes a lot of manpower.
You can use a mesh basket to drop them in hot water quickly to kill the barnacles, but it’s a gamble. Overdo it and you risk damaging the oysters but underdoing it won’t remove the over-catch.
We’ve come up with an alternative – the assistant to killing over-catch. It’s a machine that freezes off the barnacles and parasites, and it happens at the same time as the grading, so it doesn’t slow down the workflow.
Out on the water, we’ve teamed up with a company to create an automatic system for measuring the number of oysters into each basket. Incredibly efficient, what once was a four-man job can now be done easily and accurately by two, without even getting into the water.
As oyster farms expand and we continue to see society move away from meat-heavy diets, more intelligent systems for bulk handling oysters are required. Our team tells the tales of rowing out in boats 40 years ago, pulling up oysters and sorting them into sizes by hand, then rowing back in.
Today, it’s an exciting time to be an oyster farmer, with the rise of automation. And with many of these remote regions coming up against a lack of talented workers, there’s long been a call for these technologies.
To find out more about the huge difference these innovations are having on oyster farmers, contact our team.