Tilt to Tumble
Mechanical tumbling is a common practice that chips away new growth on oysters to create a deeper cup coveted by the half-shell market. Tumbling is extremely labor-intensive as bags or baskets are removed from floating gear or long-lines, lifted to a boat and/or dock, opened and dumped into a hopper of a mechanical tumbler. After tumbling, oysters are returned to bags or baskets, transferred back to the growing area and placed back into gear. This process is typically repeated many times to achieve high value oysters.
Shellevator exercises your oysters in mass by adjusting buoyancy with the turn of a valve.
Partially exhausting water raises the bow off the bottom while the stern rest on the sea floor on the offshore end. Waves push oysters uphill and gravity pulls them downhill. The same effect can be achieved by positioning the Shellevator on a shallow sloping shore and enhanced by inter-tidal desiccation by doing nothing!
Another tilt to tumble option is exhausting port and starboard pontoons sequentially. Prevailing currents and waves pile up oysters on the opposite side of containers. Piling up reduces oyster growth and promotes bio-fouling and worm infestation. Opening the valve(s) connected the heavier side will raise it and oysters will slide downhill while the opposite side rest on sea floor. This can be repeated in reverse if more tumbling is desired or left in tilted position for a period of continuous wave tumbling.
Tumbling in place saves you money while producing an oyster of unparalleled quality. Continuous and gentle movement using free wave energy rehabilitates muddy bio-fouled oysters in days. Within weeks oysters can be polished as smooth as a baby’s behind!
Extended tumbling for months is a great winter time activity that sculps oysters with a deep double cup!