Shetland start-up company Unstoyst aims to be in a position to supply oysters to the wholesale market within two years. By 2005, it aims to be producing at least one million oysters each year.
The company is located on Shetland's most northerly island of Unst and grows two varieties ­ the Pacific and the Common European flat oyster ­ in Baltasound Voe.
Business director Denis Buddle said: "The Pacific variety is slower growing than oysters grown in tropical seas, but its flesh is firmer and tastier. Feedback from people who have already tasted our product has been extremely positive and this can be attributed to the fresh clear waters in which the oysters are farmed. The temperature of the environment is not too warm and there is good water flow creating ideal growing conditions.
"The business is still in its infancy and the oysters are in the first stage of early growth. The first batch will be available soon for the immediate local market.
"We will also expand sales through the internet to target the top end of the global market with our quality product."