The Australian oyster industry is one of the best in the world. Over decades of development, the industry has made huge steps in sustainability and best practices to safeguard oyster growing waterways and environments.
Automation is playing its part and SED Graders are highly recognised for their automation grading machines and oyster farming basket systems that have proven highly effective for oyster farms focused on single seed farming.
We began developing the SED Graders oyster farming basket system over 20 years ago, in direct collaboration with some of Australia’s leading oyster farmers and regulatory groups. Through constant dialogue and gaining in-depth insights into the challenges of oyster farms, SED Graders were able to design and then manufacture an oyster farming basket system that has proven to be instrumental in ensuring the future of many farms in Australia and now around the world.
Versatility and robust construction were the keys. Our engineers set about designing and manufacturing a basket system built to last even in extreme environments. The systems had to be versatile and able to be customised to suit any farming operations, from large to small farms and those that require an adjustable long line infrastructure or subtidal, fixed and floating environments. SED Graders’ oyster farming basket system is now used in a number of oyster farming operations around the world. New Zealand and Japanese oyster farmers, in particular, have embraced the system. When integrated with the SED Graders’ water and vision graders, farms overseas and in Australia are experiencing huge uplifts in production numbers, profitability and efficiencies from spat to saleable oyster stock.
The SED Graders oyster basket system is ideal for juvenile oysters. Single seed oyster spat is carefully placed in durable plastic buckets prior to a gentle automated underwater grading process that greatly reduces mortality rates down to less than 1.5%. On average, the water grading machine grades approximately 100,000 20-30mm size oysters per hour. The twin lane model will double this output.
Graded into three sizes, the juvenile oysters are returned to the baskets for on-growing. The oyster farming basket system is customised for the environment in which the farm is working. The adjustable long line system is ideal when the farm is located in an intertidal area with a sandy seabed. The line can be set to varying heights according to different seasons, environmental conditions and stages in the oysters’ growth. In open waters, our engineers designed the subtidal system with baskets on top of each other to promote rapid growth and secure infrastructure. In static environments, the baskets are set for oysters to open and feed when the tide is in. When the tide is out, the shells are exposed to the air and so they harden. The oysters will rumble in the basket, enhancing shell shape and volume. The baskets are stacked and tied down when the farm is located between a subtidal and intertidal system. This subtidal floating system allows the system to leverage the water column depth for stock holding. In calm waters, the floating system promotes faster growth. The baskets move up and down with the tide, staying on top of the water column where food concentrations are higher.
When an oyster farmer is looking for an automated grading system that can combine with a basket solution, SED Graders’ automation machines are designed to fit seamlessly into the farm’s production needs. Our engineers have designed the oyster farming basket system to work with both the vision and water grading machines, maximising the farm’s production capability, greatly reducing labour and oyster mortality rates. We work closely with each farm to ensure the system we design is customised for the individual farm to take full advantage of their business now and into the future.
The SED Graders team provides full worldwide after-sales support, including innovative virtual diagnostics for all our products. Our TeamViewer video support allows us to quickly and efficiently resolve technical problems – with a 100% strike rate in solving problems remotely. Our oyster grading machines are mechanically simple and easy to maintain, and farmers can fit all our graders with readily available parts.
We have manufactured our SED Graders oyster grading machines and oyster basket systems to the highest standards. With superior backup service and qualified technicians on hand, farms around the world use our grading machines and support equipment, including in Australia, New Zealand, North America and Asia.