My dad always told me that it would be ideal to grow your own product instead of relying on Mother Nature and regulations becoming stricter every year. often changing from great to unreliable, which caused us to move into other fisheries. My dad always told me that it would be ideal to grow your own product instead of relying on Mother Nature and regulations becoming stricter every year. I got the opportunity to go fishing on a big sea scallop boat out of New Jersey. I lived on the boat for one month and when we got caught in a strong storm offshore, the captain quit and we all lost our jobs. That was the final straw for me.
HOW DID SIGNATURE-OYSTERS BEGIN?
After experiencing the scare of that storm, I took all the money I made and applied for a grant in Katama. I bought 200 cages, 2,000 grow bags, a truck and a boat, and built a tidal-powered nursery. I was instantly in love with oyster farming and knew this was something I would do for the rest of my life. I have become so involved in oystering that now my wife also has a farm in Katama.
WHAT’S THE FAVORITE PART OF YOUR JOB NOW?
My kids! My wife and I have three children: Hailey, 11 years old; Mya, 9 year’ old; and Hudson, 4 years old. My favorite part about my job is when my kids are involved. My oldest daughter has come out since she was 5 years old. They love to collect the different shells and play with the crabs that fall off the cages. My son loves to catch fish that live under our work rafts. I am very proud to continue my family’s tradition that was instilled in me, working and living off the waters of Martha’s Vineyard.
WHAT ARE YOUR AND YOUR FAMILY’S FAVORITE WAYS TO EAT OYSTERS?
Tough choice. My wife prefers them raw on the half shell with a little mignonette sauce. I love them raw, but my dad makes an amazing Po’ boy fried oyster on a slice of bread with some delicious aioli sauce. My kids will eat them fried.
YUM! Thank you, Ryan, for the inside scoop and we look forward to enjoying some of your oysters this season on the water!