Interested in Pacific oyster farming? Download a comprehensive manual

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By Milthon Lujan

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Are you intrigued by the potential of oyster farming to contribute to a sustainable food future? Whether you are an experienced grower or someone interested in entering aquaculture, the manual published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) will guide you through every step of Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas) aquaculture.

The manual provides technical and practical information related to three of the most commonly used intensive production techniques and guidance on which to choose in relation to potential aquaculture sites available.

What you’ll discover in this manual

The global importance of Pacific oysters: Explore the vital role of Pacific oysters in global aquaculture and how they can strengthen global food security.

  • Understanding your oysters: Delve into the anatomy, biology, optimal environmental conditions, and potential health threats to ensure a prosperous oyster harvest.
  • Site selection secrets: Master the art of identifying the perfect location for an oyster farm. Learn how to conduct site surveys, analyze vital data, and choose the best farming techniques for different environments.
  • Cultivation techniques and essential equipment: Gain a deep understanding of bottom, off-bottom, and suspended cultivation methods, as well as the specialized equipment you will need.
  • Seed acquisition and nursery development: Discover how to obtain healthy oyster seeds and effectively grow them during their early growth stages, including the principles of upwelling systems.
  • Construction of a Floating Upwelling System (Flupsy): Get detailed instructions on how to build and operate a Flupsy, ideal for cultivating oyster seeds in remote yet sheltered locations.
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The manual does not cover hatchery seed production, but a list of reference publications is included, and there is an FAO-published manual detailing these aspects.


This manual empowers both small-scale, low-budget operations and large-scale industrial aquaculture enterprises. You will learn to adapt methods to your specific resources and objectives.

According to the manual authors, the techniques could be partially used to farm other oyster varieties, and similarly, techniques used to farm these alternative species could be extended to the Pacific oyster. Additionally, genomics is being used to breed disease-resistant oysters.

The manual is the key to establishing and successfully managing a Pacific oyster farm. Learn to select the ideal site, implement proven cultivation strategies, and produce a sustainable, high-quality oyster crop.

Reference (open access)
Mercer, M., Gennari, L. & Lovatelli, A. 2024. Pacific oyster farming – A practical manual. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Technical Papers, No. 696. FAO, Rome. https://doi.org/10.4060/cc9396en