Ostre’an Teoranta, an oyster farm owned by two French brothers Michel and Thierry Hélie, today (4 April) officially opened a new €0.6 million production and grading facility on its site in An Mhachaire, An Clochán Liath. The company has been in operating in An Mhachaire, in Bá an Chlochán Léith for the past 6 years, after it acquired the business from local oyster farmers. The company cultivates oysters for the French market. The Hélie brothers have a long history in the business as their family has been involved in oyster growing in the Normandy area of France for over 60 years.
Ostre’an Teoranta currently employs 20 people (13 people full time and 7 people part time). The company grows oysters from seed using the bag and trestle method. The Hélie’s have found that seed planted in Bá an Chlochán Léith produces a very high-quality oyster. Half-grown oysters are exported to France where they are further cultivated and sold on the French market.
A client-company of Údarás na Gaeltachta, this development by Ostre’an Teoranta was supported under the Commercial Aquaculture Development Scheme with the assistance of Údarás na Gaeltachta and Bord Iascaigh Mhara.
Jim O Donnell, Director and Manager of the facility said “We would like the opportunity to expand into other markets such as China and the Far East, and this new production facility will allow us to produce oysters using a new pack and cage system. This relatively new system, which was developed in Australia, will help us to improve our oyster farming potential, and will lead to the further development the company. These Irish oysters are of a very high-quality and are marketed as a high-end oyster products in France. I would like to thank the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Údarás na Gaeltachta and BIM who continue to support our business.”
Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltachta welcomed the investment by the Hélie brothers and commended the development agencies involved on their support. “There is a long history of oyster farming here in Bá an Chlochán Léith, going as far back as 1904 when Mr. Edward Duffy from Inis Fraoich farmed oysters in the bay. I am delighted to see that the tradition continues and the progress being made by Ostre’an Teoranta. This company provides important employment in the area and direct spend in the local economy. I wish the company every success with its development in the future.”