buy the bay

When you order oysters on the half-shell at your favorite seafood establishment, you probably don’t spend much time wondering how the oyster became an oyster or who harvested the delicacies. In fact, many people don’t even realize that it takes 2-3 years for a fully developed oyster to reach our plates!  

a chesapeake

By purchasing fresh, quality seafood and oysters cultivated and harvested in the Bay, consumers are supporting the livelihoods of their local watermen. As our members work tirelessly to produce and harvest more oysters in the Chesapeake Bay, choosing to eat local directly benefits the future of our most treasured ecosystems.


our quality standards


Our seafood is sustainably grownor sourced and responsibly harvested from healthy stocks.


Our watermen adhere to all state and federal fishing regulations.


Our watermen take care of the resource and minimize the impact of their fishing activities on the environment.

The oysters grown by the Co-op and its members are primarily on-bottom cultured shellfish and are ideally suited to various culinary applications (i.e. shucking, grilled, or cooked). These oysters are grown in various regions throughout Maryland’s portion of the Chesapeake Bay which will in turn affect their flavor profiles. Oysters grown in southern waters with higher salinity levels will be less briny than those that are grown to the upper portion of the Bay. Each oyster will have its own unique brand identity, but they all will have the MD Seafood Co-op seal of quality that buyers will come to expect. 

Our oysters will be 3 to 3.5-inches in size with a thicker shell, making it easier to shuck and offering a longer shelf life. Given the natural grow-out techniques that we employ, not all oysters will be perfectly identical in size and shape.