Dibba Bay is the first farm in the Middle East to grow gourmet oysters.
First Oyster Farm Established in the Middle East Receives Friend of the Sea Recognition for Sustainable Practices
(UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, 9/5/2022)
Dibba Bay Oyster Farm is a unique project producing sustainably farmed gourmet oysters in the pristine waters of Northern Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates while supporting marine conservation efforts.
Oysters are traditionally found in the cooler waters of Europe, North America, or East China, the world’s biggest producers of the highly appreciated shellfish. However, since its creation in 2016, the Dibbay Bay oyster farm started changing perceptions becoming the first aquaculture project of its kind in the United Arab Emirates and the region. On July 5th, the company accomplished another milestone by receiving the Friend of the Sea Sustainable Aquaculture certification.
Dibba Bay oysters are transported straight from the farm to the local market in just a few hours. This helps reduce carbon emissions and ensures that you get the freshest oysters, right from the sea to your table.
Dibba Bay is the first farm in the Middle East to grow gourmet oysters. Located on the East Coast of the UAE in Dibba, the company produces over 300.000 oysters a month thanks to the warm, clean, and nutrient-rich currents that bathe the coast of Fujairah.
The company, created by CEO Ramie Murray, accomplished the challenge of introducing the Pacific cupped oysters, originally from Japan, into Emirati waters. Dibba Bay buys spats from hatcheries around the world, seeds them in an oyster nursery, and places them in lanterns before lowering them into the water. The oysters grow without any feed or chemical substances, relying on the natural environment rich in phytoplankton.
The Dibba Bay farm was established in 2016, as the result of several years of testing and planning. Situated in the open ocean, the Dibba Bay farm consists of 9 hectares of offshore concession acreage and champions an ambitious, global, exports lead growth.
Early on, the company committed to developing a business model based on respect for the environment. This has earned Dibba Bay the Friend of the Sea certification, recognizing that its aquaculture facilities meet strict sustainable policies, waste management regulations, and social responsibilities.
The certification also covers the traceability of Dibba Bay’s packing and export operations, as 50 % of the company’s production is exported to Hong Kong, the Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles, Oman, and other destinations.
“Our mission as an oyster farm has always been to protect our oceans and involve sustainable practices in all aspects of our business to safeguard the integrity of aquatic life. We are proud to be acknowledged by Friend of the Sea for our sustainable farming practices. It’s important to us that there is an accredited third party certifying our work; sustainability demonstrated with a third-party certification will help consumers choose more consciously,” said Ramie Murray, Founder and CEO of Dibba Bay oysters.
Friend of the Sea’s Sustainable Aquaculture Certification criteria includes no impact on critical habitat, compliance with water quality parameters, no use of harmful antifouling or growth hormones, compliance with water quality management, social accountability, and continuous improvement of waste and energy management.
Dibba Bay Oysters farm is also involved in supporting conservation efforts, such as a project to recreate coral reef ecosystems with oyster shells to provide a new habitat for marine species.
Dibba Bay Oysters are amongst the finest restaurant-grade oysters in the world. Identifiable by their white and gold-flecked shell and meaty texture, Dibba Bay oysters are the first and only gourmet oysters from the Middle East.
“Obtaining this certificate proves not only that Dibba Bay conducts a responsible farming operation according to Friend of the Sea standards, but also that the company has a broader commitment to protecting the environment,” said Paolo Bray, Founder and Director of Friend of the Sea.
About Friend of the Sea
Friend of the Sea, a World Sustainability Organization project, awards sustainable practices in Fisheries, Aquaculture, Fishmeal, and Omega-3 Fish Oil.
In addition, the organization promotes projects related to restaurants, sustainable shipping, whale and dolphin-watching, aquaria, ornamental fish, UV creams, and others.
It is the only sustainable fisheries and aquaculture certification program recognized and supervised globally by European National Accreditation Agencies.
About Dibba Bay oysters
In 2016, Ramie Murray, Dibba Bay's founder, pioneered the pivot from the traditional Arabian pearl oyster industry to the farming of an edible oyster species.
Dibba Bay's oysters have been praised by the best fine-dining chefs and oyster connoisseurs for their exceptionally high meat content, silky texture and exquisite taste.
Thanks to the unique conditions of the ocean, which made Arabia world-renowned for its lustrous white pearls, the Dibba Bay oyster is thriving and continues to showcase the heritage of the region through its distinctive and vibrant white and gold shell. The unique qualities of the waters of the Emirates, which have been historically through the legendary white pearls, now live on through the Dibba Bay oyster shell.
Nestled between the extraordinary backdrop of the Hajar Mountains and the glistening Indian Ocean, the farm consists of 9 hectares of offshore concessions, in the pristine waters of Dibba which are home to a diverse marine life and coral reefs.
The oysters are grown in extremely clean seawater along a sparsely populated coastline. The site is relatively shallow but only meters away from extremely deep water off the continental shelf, which allows for an abundance of food to arrive on cool deep-sea currents. Thanks to the purity of the water and the abundance of plankton, Dibba Bay's oysters quickly grow into a world-class product with exceptional meat ratio, beautiful clean white shells, and a delicious fresh taste.
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