The oyster spawn that are released remain in suspension for many days and flow back and forth with the tide until they find a suitable place to settle.
These newly formed oysters are called "spat"
Spat catchers are designed to provide a place for the oysters to settle and are positioned so as to maximize the catch. The arrangement of the slats allow the oysters to attach in several layers, almost like an apartment block. The slats allow water to flow through, but stop hungry bream from eating all the young spat.
It is easy to see the band of wild oysters that are caught on the rocks that line the river during the tidal change. We try to position our racks for the catchers within this band.
STRIPPING OF SPAT CATCHERS
The spat should have grown to the size of about finger nail within 5 months. It is then that they are carefully stripped from the bundles of slats. stripping of spat takes about 1 week, carefully collecting all of the small soft shells.