The Miyagi oyster is the most commonly grown oyster on the west cost. It is also called a Pacific oyster. It is named for the region in Japan that the oyster originates from. The science name for this species is Crassostrea gigas which translates into giant deep cups, since this oyster can grow into a large oyster with deep bowls. There are many regional names and grower brand names for this species.
The major growing areas in California include Tomales Bay and hopefully still Drake’s Estero (the Federal government is trying to shut this farm down), both in Marin County, Morro Bay in San Luis Obispo County, and Humboldt Bay in Humboldt County. In Oregon, oysters are produced in Yaquina Bay in Newport, Coos Bay near Florence, and Netarts Bay near Bay City. In Washington the two major growing areas are Willapa Bay and the entire Puget Sound watershed. Finally oysters are produced in British Columbia to the east and north of Vancouver Island. Oysters are also produced in Alaska.
I use product from growers in Tomales Bay, Puget Sound and British Columbia. I only buy farmed product grown as single oysters. We like the extra small size (2 to 4 inch) for serving raw and the small size (4 to 6 inch) if we are barbequing the oysters.
Floating bags of oysters in Tomales Bay, California.
A perfectly shaped Miyagi oyster
Puget Sound Pacific oysters
Suspended bags of oysters, which tumble the oysters on each tidal cycle
A perfectly round extra small Miyagi oyster