Aeros Cultured Oyster Co
Karen Rivara was inspired to be a Marine Biologist while watching the “Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau” on television when she was twelve. She graduated from Southampton College. LIU in 1981 with a degree in Marine Science. She began working at the Shinnecock Tribe Oyster Project in 1983 as a Research Technician for Dr. Robert Malouf, MSRC, SUNY Stony Brook. That is where Karen fell in love with shellfish farming. She has worked in commercial hatcheries, including the Bluepoints Company hatchery, in West Sayville as well as the Shinnecock hatchery.
Karen is president of Aeros Cultured Oyster Company, Inc., a company she and her business partner, Jim Markow began in 1994 as a hatchery in the basement of his house. She moved the hatchery to Shellfisher Preserve, a Peconic Land Trust property, in Southold in 2004 after setting up the Noank Cooperative hatchery in Noank, CT. She is a founding member of the Noank Aquaculture Cooperative (2000), East End Marine Farmers Association (2001), the East Coast Shellfish Growers Association (2002) and is the past president of the Long Island Farm Bureau.
Karen was drawn to shellfish mariculture because it is very satisfying to produce something she has grown from a fertilized egg. She also hopes that this work will help make the Long Island Estuaries she works in more productive.
FARMERS: Karen Rivara and Jim Markow
FARM LOCATION: Southold Bay
OYSTER VARIETIES: Seed shellfish - oysters, hard clams and bay scallops
FLAVOR PROFILE: Shellfish seed are bred to be healthy and fast growing
WHERE TO FIND THE PRODUCT: Purchase directly from the farmers