Kilisut Harbor Shellfish - Home of the Maro-ishi Oyster
Kilisut Harbor Shellfish, LLC (KHS) is a new and developing oyster farm at the north end of Puget Sound. It is approximately 40 miles northwest of Seattle, Washington and just over 100 miles from the Pacific Ocean via the wide Strait of Juan de Fuca.
It is important to note that our farm is much closer to the open ocean than most oyster farms in the southern Puget Sound. The KHS site is non-estuarial. We do not have the risks associated with variable river flows, large salinity variations and upstream hazards.
Our site is fully permitted from County, Washington State and Federal agencies. We have received excellent feedback from these agencies during their periodic audits. The regulators indicated our site was one of the most environmentally pristine sites in the area. And we intend to keep it that way. KHS is committed to full protection of the delicate environment while growing our oysters.
Our farm on Kilisut Harbor is home to the Maro-ishi oyster. This oyster is a favorite at local oyster bars. One of the main reasons is customers like the briny taste and deep cup that result from being just a few miles from the ocean waters of the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
Marrowstone Island lies near the center of the Salish Sea. At the place where Canada and the northwest US meet, a huge inlet of the cold North Pacific Ocean extends inland hundreds of miles; east down the Strait of Juan de Fuca, north to Desolation Sound, and south to Puget Sound. The Salish Sea is a beautiful place where Nature still rules supreme.
And near the center of this great inlet, closer to the open ocean than most of the Salish Sea, sits Marrowstone Island; a survivor of the last great Ice Age, carved out of sandstone, topped with ancient glacier moraines, covered with forests and meadows, and surrounded by cold, clean water.
Kilisut Harbor is a branch of the Salish Sea on the west side of Marrowstone, under the snow-covered Olympic Mountains that tower in the distance. It’s a rural place with a long history of seafood and shellfish. Wild caught crab and abundant oysters have been a part of the island economy for over 100 years. It’s also a place where the residents care deeply about each other and the environment. And from those concerns springs Kilisut Harbor Shellfish, LLC.
A few years ago a coalition of neighbors, that together own a large, pristine tideland, organized to consider an offer by a giant seafood company to take over their beach. But instead of taking the offer, the neighbors decided to join forces in a different way to create a new, environmentally focused firm. That firm, Kilisut Harbor Shellfish, LLC, was founded to grow oysters in as close to natural conditions as we can arrange. Our operations are fiercely focused on growing the highest quality oysters in a sustainable way.
Nature also helps our oyster farm in a way that is rare and important to high quality, safe seafood. Most oyster farms occupy estuaries where ocean water mixes with rivers. Rivers can introduce unpredictable elements into oyster farms such as salinity variations and upstream byproducts of farming and densely populated areas. But not in Kilisut Harbor! Our farm is NOT in an estuarial location. We have no rivers or streams that flow into our water. Kilisut Harbor oysters are grown purely “in the salt”. You can taste the pure, clean North Pacific in our products.
We are also building a new community and network of people dedicated to natural, sustainable aquaculture. Here on Marrowstone Island we are employing local labor and services to grow our oysters and build our company. We are linked with some of the best scientific experts in aquaculture as well. Join our story, enjoy our oysters, and watch Kilisut Harbor Shellfish, LLC, care for the environment while growing sustainable aquaculture for healthy consumers around the world.
P. O. Box 194, Nordland, WA