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High Output Floating Bag System (FBS)

System in use
Photo courtesy of Andre Mallet

What it is

  • The High Output Floating/Submersible Oyster Growout System was developed by putting together the ideas of oyster growers from different areas of the world to create a system that is labor cost saving, increases yields, and improves product quality.
  • It can be used in areas where water depth and accessibility are problematic or where winter ice or high-energy storms are a factor.
  • The system allows for constant nutrient supply while bio-fouling is kept to a minimum due to exposure to sunlight on the upper surface and the ability to rotate the grid (bags) to expose the lower surface.
  • During winter months or storms the entire system can be easily submerged by adding anchor weights along one longline so that the cages sit below ice in a vertical fashion.
  • Growers currently using this system have experienced as much as a 50% increase in growth per year compared to traditional methods.
  • However as with all aquaculture applications results are dependent on site specifics, nutrient loading, etc.

Top view of system

How it works

  • The OBC Durethene® cages are assembled to the desired size; one end is permanently closed using stainless steel hog rings. The other end is closed with bridge pins, which allow for easy opening.
  • Special Styrofoam cylinder floats, available in different diameters to adjust floatation to match the growout abilities of the site, are attached to each side of the cages with cable ties at 3-4 points. Note: The matching of the floatation to the weight of the bag contents is very important to optimize growout, control biofouling and for shell pruning.
  • Special shock cord is attached to each corner of the cage with hog rings. Cord clips are then attached to the outer end of the cord to enable the cages to be quickly attached and detached from the longline.
  • A longline grid harness is made with the desired size rope and replast spreader bars; they are then deployed with desired anchor and center line floatation. Position the line so that at high tide theya re taut and bags in combination with floatation are 50% out of the water. Attention and care must be taken with wind and current direction.

Side view of system


  • Reduces the growout cycle due to early early spring water surface temperature and increased food availability.
  • The surface is usually the most productive part of the water column and by having a surface cage allows for higher growth rates.
  • Biofouling control; since the surface is also the area with the highest biofouling challenges, due to the grid design the bags, in grid format, can be flipped over all at once at specific intervals to allow the sun and air to decompose the lower side fouling.
  • By having the oysters at the surface the wave action agitates the cages which allows for partial shell shaping (pruning) and beach hardening process (note the size of floatation must match the growout abilities of your site
  • Reduces labor and handling cost per unit; efficient biofouling control, wave action cleaning and shaping shells, shorter growout time, all contribute significantly to reduce labor cost compared to other methods.
  • Designed for areas of ice, storm or high energy conditions; anchors are added to one side of the grid and it is lower below the ice zone or wave action

Winter or storm side view of system

Equipment and Setup Cost
Cost for all materials: bags, cord, clips, floats, tie wraps, pins, rings, longline, replast spreader bars
Avg. $1,250 US
Locally supplied
Dependant on region
Total Cost
Avg. $1,600 US

Product output production based on 12 months growout cycle after 5 months in nursery
Assuming 25 cents per oyster
120 oysters per bag x .25 = $30.00 x 100 bags
200 oysters per bag x .25 = $50.00 x 100 bags
Assuming 40 cents per oyster
120 oysters per bag x .40 = $48.00 x 100 bags
200 oysters per bag x .40 = $80.00 x 100 bags

Click here for a list of required and optional materials used in the system.

Click here for a business plan for the system.

To receive a quote on this product,
please fill out our quote request form.

Fukui North America

110-B Bonnechere St.W.
Eganville, Ontario K0J 1T0
Email: don@bishopaquatic.com or call 613-639-3474

Copyright © 1999-2004 Fukui North America. All rights reserved.