Name: Steve Crockett
Name of Business: Point aux Pins Oysters
Business Address: 10053 Border Drive, East, Grand Bay, AL 36541
Business Phone Number: (251) 824-1191
Alabama Gulf Seafood that your business processes: Farm-Raised Oysters
Where were you born and raised?
Born in Louisville, KY. Grew up in Greenville, MS.
How did you come to work in Alabama’s seafood industry?
We participated in the oyster gardening program sponsored by the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program which started in 2000 for the purpose of oyster reef restoration in Mobile Bay. An Auburn University graduate student was collecting data on the program, and we had the best growth rates of any sites on the eastern or western shores of the Bay, Dauphin Island, or Coden. So we decided to start an oyster farm. Over the following years, we learned a lot. But then Katrina came and wiped us out, farm and home. By 2008, we had rebuilt and were back on site. At the same time, Dr. Bill Walton of Auburn University had arrived, and we commenced a research project to determine which of four farming methods would work best at our site. The one we adopted was the Australian adjustable long line method.
What other jobs have you held within Alabama’s seafood industry?
No job, just consumer: Harvesting wild oysters, crabs, and mullet for personal consumption.
What does your typical workday involve?
Planning and overseeing operations. My wife, Dema, and I plus a few nephews ran the operation for the first three years, but now I am pleased to have Hugh and Brandon McClure as the main operators in charge. Periodically, the oyster lines are raised completely out of the water for 24 to 36 hours to allow the gear and oysters to dry out. This helps remove barnacles and oyster sets from the gear and oysters and other fouling organisms as well. As the oysters grow in their baskets, they are redistributed to a less dense packing in the baskets. From October to March, we harvest world-class oysters for the half-shell market.
What makes your company/organization stand out within Alabama’s seafood industry?
We were the first oyster farm on the Gulf Coast along with Jules Melancon of Grand Isle, LA. We pride ourselves in delivering a product to market which is above the expectations of our customer. Working with Auburn University, state of Alabama regulators, and the legislature, we along with other coastal families have launched a new industry for our region.
What are your professional goals?
We would like to see the oyster aquaculture industry grow and thrive to allow families who wish to live and work on the water the opportunity to do so.
What’s your favorite seafood dish to serve up for yourself and your family?
Dema’s crab cakes.
If you could spend the day with any celebrity or historical figure (living or dead), who would it be?
Do you own any pets?
A dog, The Babe.
What makes Alabama Gulf Seafood special?
The integrity and care of the people who bring their products to market and the delight and pride they having in doing so.