Offshore Shellfish is a family run business, founded by John and Nicki Holmyard, who have been involved in the mussel and seafood industries for more than 25 years. Their son George, an oceanographer, is the company’s offshore manager, whilst daughter Sarah, a business and language graduate who has been working in the seafood industry for 10 years, handles marketing and sales.
John and Nicki began their pioneering career in mussel farming in Loch Etive Argyll, in the early days of the Scottish industry in the 1980s. They have now moved on to develop the UK’s first large-scale fully offshore, rope cultured mussel farm off the coast of South Devon. John took his inspiration for the design of the farm from the well-established New Zealand industry, and from other regions of the world where offshore techniques are being developed.
He has tailored the best of their ideas and techniques to suit conditions in the UK. Mussels grown during the trial phase have thrived particularly well in the offshore environment and shell quality and meat content have surpassed expectations.
The project promises to be the largest of its kind in Europe, and is now past the trial stage and beginning to develop towards full scale commercial operations.
John and George have personally designed and built every part of the farm. Along with skipper Simon and crewman Jamie, they can be found on the mussel farm on a daily basis, weather permitting!