Marine farmers say a breakthrough in selective oyster breeding will enable the industry to triple in size.
An oyster hatchery producing up to 50 million Pacific oysters a year was opened in Nelson on Wednesday night.
The single-seed oysters have been bred by Cawthron Institute scientists over ten years.
They can now be produced in large scale commercial quantities at the hatchery.
Oyster farmers say the nursery-grown spat, or baby oysters, guarantee an oyster consistent in size, shape and quality.