In 2016, after working with San Francisco's Hog Island Oyster Company for over 4 years, owner Graham Watson moved back home to the East Coast to begin West Passage Oyster Company. Graham applied for a 3 acre oyster lease in North Kingstown, Rhode Island. “Having a positive attitude and a working knowledge of mariculture was really helpful when starting out,” says Graham.
Graham was able to use much of what he learned from growing shellfish on the West Coast but also had to adapt to a different climate altogether. “Farming oysters in California in the summer is a dream job. Farming in the dead of winter in New England is fun too. But it’s a different kind of fun.”
Oyster farmers have a vested interest in keeping the bay clean, as the oyster quality, the environment, and our livelihoods depend on it. West Passage is a young company with big hopes and dreams. “We love what we do here and we’ll continue to grow oysters for as long as we can. Our goal is to produce quality oysters and shellfish while protecting the health of the water and our environment.”