My name is Nick Turnbull and along with my son Gordon we manage Isle of Mull Oysters Ltd.
I live next to the sea on the exposed NW. coast of the Island of Mull. The oyster site is just below my house and it always gives me great satisfaction to think that this small part of the shore can sustain 3 million oysters in various stages of growth.
Since 1970, I have made my living from the seas around our Island, fishing mainly for lobsters crab and prawns. My younger son Kenny now continues this as his business. However the oysters became the focus of our busines. Now Gordon, who has an MSC in Marine Resource Management drives the business forward into the 21st century and the future looks good.
My fishing partner George Martin and myself started producing small quantities of oysters in 1990. At that time there was no point in producing any real quantity as there was a very limited UK market. Move on 25 years and this has all changed, with consumers being more adventurous creating demand that occasionally outstrips supply.
We joined SSMG as a member in 1995 as this afforded the best chance to expand with like minded individuals. I have been a director and vice chairman of Scottish Shellfish and have witnessed the steady growth of this cooperative from its early days in a portacabin at Loch Fyne to its present, up to date factory in Bellshill. I have always believed in the concept of “cooperation” and am proud to have played a very small part in the success of this unique shellfish cooperative.
George retired 5 years ago and now myself and Gordon run it as a family business.
Our own oyster farm has developed alongside the growth of Scottish Shellfish and now produces in excess of 1/2 million marketable oysters each year and our aim is to continue to grow our farm alongside the expectations of the Scottish Shellfish market.
I believe that with careful husbandry and in the right place, Scotland can produce a quality oyster second to none. We have and will make the necessary financial and time investment to make Isle of Mull Oysters one of those Scottish farms that produce these quality oysters.