A Marlborough innovation is revolutionising oyster farming.

Aaron and Debbie Pannell have developed FlipFarm which was the recipient of a Future Development Innovation Award at the Seafood New Zealand conference in Nelson today.

Flipfarm is a revolution in oyster aquaculture, combining many of the benefits of intertidal and subtidal oyster aquaculture into one robust, efficient and cost-effective package.

Aaron Pannell has over 25 years’ experience in aquaculture, specialising in marine farming and the Flipfarm oyster growing system is the result of 10 years of challenges.

FlipFarm semi-automates almost all oyster farming tasks as well as providing an ideal growth environment, extremely efficient biofouling treatment, predator protection, and most importantly ease of use, wrapped up in a system that is fun to use and hard to break.

Pannell says FlipFarm is the oyster version of a bottling plant.

Instead of treating oyster growing baskets as individual containers to be handled multiple times, they are linked together using a patented, permanent, extremely robust attachment system which streamlines and mechanises the operation of growing oysters.

Seafood New Zealand chief executive Jeremy Helson says the technology being used in the seafood industry in 2021 is mind blowing.

The system can be used in a wide range of conditions from intertidal estuaries to deep water sites and it has been tested successfully in hurricanes, 100-year floods and under four feet of ice.

“In getting this system to market, the Pannell’s have slogged through weather, biofouling, inconsistent meat quality, and some very hard, physical work to get this technology to work seamlessly. They are very deserving of the Future Development Innovation award.”

The system can be used in a wide range of conditions from intertidal estuaries to deep water sites and it has been tested successfully in hurricanes, 100-year floods and under four feet of ice.

FlipFarm is a lot more than an oyster growing system, it is a transformational change in the oyster industry.

Media contact: Lesley Hamilton, Seafood NZ Communications Manager – 027 490 1345