Hoopers Island to sell Hexcyl Systems

Hoopers Island to sell Hexcyl Systems Hexcyl oyster baskets accommodate a wide range of shellfish sizes and multiple orientations in both high- and low-energy environments

Hoopers Island Oyster Co. has been named a top distributor for Australia’s Hexcyl Systems in the United States. The agreement supports Hoopers Island’s rapidly growing manufacturing and distribution division to promote and sell Hexcyl’s Adjustable Longline System to shellfish farmers throughout the country.

The Hexcyl system is used for shellfish farming and is recognised for its production efficiency and shellfish quality. The unique hexagonal, cylinder-shaped basket is suitable for growing oysters, scallops, clams, mussels and other shellfish and is offered in a wide range of mesh sizes.

Originally designed to farm Pacific oysters in South Australia’s high energy, inter-tidal zones, the adjustable longline system allows farmers in similar North American environments to raise and lower the growing height of stock to better manage shell growth, hygiene and meat condition.

“For our own oyster farming operation at Hoopers Island on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, we wanted to add an adjustable, longline system that would hold up to the variable weather conditions, winds and changing tides of the Chesapeake Bay,” said Ricky Fitzhugh, managing partner at Hoopers Island.

“We evaluated many different systems but ultimately found that the quality, ingenuity and thoughtful engineering behind Hexcyl makes it the best oyster-growing basket for adjustable, longline farming.”

Founded by watermen on Maryland’s eastern shore, Hoopers Island Oyster Co supplies equipment, product and seed, serving consumers, growers and conservationists on the Chesapeake Bay and in coastal regions around the world. The Hoopers Island oyster hatchery and nursery raises seed and oysters of all sizes for its own farms and other growers as well as the restoration of public fisheries. The company also grows and sells its own premium oysters.

The Hexcyl system has already received recognition at the 2017 Australian Good Design awards. After an extensive evaluation process involving more than 35 international design experts, the jury awarded Hexcyl the Good Design Award with a commendation describing the product as “a brilliant example of innovative design and engineering - this is about as good as it gets.”

Hexcyl Systems was set up in 2007 by four Australian oyster farmers with more than sixty years of collective experience using adjustable longline shellfish farming technology. Dissatisfied with existing available technology, they were determined to improve productivity on their farms.This led to the design of the Hexcyl shellfish basket, delivering shellfish farmers a more robust basket design with up to 40% more productivity, resulting in improved stock quality and reduced operating costs.

Hexcyl oyster baskets and products are made for a wide range of growout options. Each basket handles up to 10kg of stock and is available in five mesh sizes (3, 5, 10, 15 and 20mm). Sets include two basket halves, two access doors and two suspension clips. One carton contains 15 complete basket sets. Made for quick assembly, they are impact resistant in the coldest climates and have a 10-year service life with a five-year guarantee from Hexcyl.

“There are many different oyster basket choices on the market today,” said Sean Grizzell, Hoopers Island manager in charge of equipment and product sales.

“Farmers must sort through different clips, doors, pivot pins, and other add-ons and upgrades. With Hexcyl, the upgrades and modifications to the system are already included. Farmers can enhance and expand their oyster lease without hours of researching which items to order. Everything – doors, clips and body pieces – is included in the box.”

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