Europe's seafood industry braces itself for ‘vegetarian oysters’

August 8, 2003, It’s still from the sea but can the ‘vegetarian oyster’ compete with the original? Nick Joy, of Scotland’s Loch Duart salmon farm thinks so.

The Scottish fish farm is experimenting with methods to mass-produce seaweed to create their new ‘vegetarian oysters’. The reputable salmon grower hopes to export the seafood-free oysters to restaurants across Europe and even in Japan, reported the Yorkshire Post.

Joy, managing director of Loch Duart, said that seaweed tastes rather like an oyster. It also has the benefit of being full of vitamins and minerals – and would also be suitable for vegetarians, unlike real oysters.

Joy hopes to boost seaweed production to around 200 tonnes a year within the coming four years so that it can begin to target the export market. However, the Post quotes him as warning that seaweed is difficult to cultivate in bulk.

Loch Duart’s new project will benefit from the company’s already strong reputation for its salmon, which is farmed in a sustainable way and graces the tables of such prestigious restaurants as Nobu, The Ivy and Le Caprice.