1st Meeting of Oyster Farmers of the Sado Estuary

June 7th 2021

Livramento Market in Setúbal

The 1st Meeting of Oyster Farmers of the Sado Estuary took place on June 7, 2021 at the Livramento Market in Setúbal, promoted by Exporsado and the Municipality of Setúbal. At this meeting attended several oyster farmers, such as Exporsado, Aquanostra, Bivalsado, Bivalset, Cecília Anjo, Global Pinhão, Neptunpearl, Oyster 3.0, Oyster Ribeiro, Oysterworld, Shelset.

The meeting occurred in the frame of the SEATRACES project: Smart Traceability and Labeling ToolBox for a Sustainable Seafood Production, (Workpackage 7 – Strategies for creating added value, Action 2 – Traceability and specific labelling case studies and pilot actions) and results of the pilot test of the regional brand OSTRAS DE SETÚBAL, carried out by Exporsado under SEATRACES, were presented.

The main objective was to show and try to convince oyster farmers of the need to create a regional brand (label) for Setúbal oysters and of the importance of their certification of origin and labelling. Furthermore, to demystify the bureaucratic process, the meeting was attended by entities competent in the creation and registration of regional brands by the Portuguese government (Direção Regional de Agricultura e Pesca/Lisboa e Vale do Tejo) which clarified the audience as to the requirements of regional brands and, in particular the IGP classification. The Secretary-General of the APA (Portuguese Aquaculture Association) was also present and reiterated the availability of the association’s services to all members in pursuit of the defined objectives.

This meeting was also attended by Dr Rogério Mendes, responsible for Partner 2 (IPMA) participation in the SEATRACES Project, who gave a general presentation of the project and highlighted the French case as a benchmark for creating regional oyster brands, which helped to highlight the importance of creating regional brands and duly certified products.

Dr Nuno Ferreira, from Exporsado, also presented the pilot test results of the regional brand “OSTRAS DE SETÚBAL”, carried out within the scope of SEATRACES, having highlighted the clear economic gains resulting from the presentation of oysters with the regional brand to the detriment of own brand.

But why such great interest?

Portugal has unparalleled conditions for oyster production, with its coasts undoubtedly renowned for the quality of the water, both in terms of nutrients and mild temperatures throughout the year. These conditions allow the production, in about 2 years, of a superior quality oyster, called “Spéciale”.

This oyster is a top-quality oyster at all levels, with a well-formed shell, homogenous and rigid nacre, a filling level of more than 15%, and a unique, freshly and slightly salty taste. Also of particular importance is the economic importance of this resource for the Setúbal region. In the past, oysters could have been a product with very little tradition in Portugal but nowadays there are many Oysters aficionados and these are already part of the menu of traditional Portuguese festivals. Of course, export is the key to this business, as around the world there are people who can’t do without oysters on the Christmas or New Year’s menus, or even at any time. In the Sado Estuary, near Setúbal, oyster farming is growing, thanks to a renewed interest in this delicacy. Thus, this increase in demand is undoubtedly a strong reason for the union of efforts of all stakeholders, around the creation of the regional brand OSTRA DE SETÚBAL and for the pursuit of a new added value for the economy of Setúbal.