What is an upweller, anyway?

upweller schematics

upweller schematics

Upweller basics

An upweller is a system used to grow shellfish. Think of it as an incubator for oysters. Oyster seed, called spat, starts as small as grains of sand. The upweller is a system of individual cylinders, or silos, through which ocean water is pumped. That circulates plankton from the ocean, and provides food for the baby oysters.

Where can you find upwellers?

Some upwellers are located directly in the water, some are placed on docks or piers and the water is pumped to their location. In Gloucester, the upweller will be located on Maritime Gloucester’s newly renovated main pier, about 10-15 feet above the harbor water.

What happens in an upweller?

The baby oysters (known as “spat”) will be 2mm in size when they are placed in the upweller in June. By the fall, the oysters will be 25mm or about 1.5” in length. We’ll need help to regularly clean and sort each oyster. As oysters get bigger, we move them into different silos so that they all have equal opportunity at the available food and grow at about the same rate.