Oyster farmers must collect the spat and provide it with a place to attach to ensure that the stocks on their lease are always being replenished. Many of the practices in spat collection and oyster culture are the result of the work done by Dr. A.W.H Needler at the Ellerslie research station. He developed proven ways of collecting spat, and growing oysters to a size when they could be safely reintroduced to the oyster bed. Some of the spat collectors that were developed included the use of clean shells on the bottom of the areas where the spat was released as well as more portable versions which included wire bags, and various cardboard collectors that were coated in cement for the spat to attach to. The spat could then easily be removed by breaking the concrete away from the surface of the object. The PEI Shellfish Association recently found that some large tubing dipped in concrete makes for a cheap effective spat collector.
The oyster farmer has a great deal more freedom in the means used to harvest their cultured oysters compared to public fishermen. Since oyster tongs are best for harvesting small areas lease holders generally use mechanical drags to more effectively bring their oysters to the surface. The drags can also be used at much greater depths than the tongs of the public fishery. These large wire bag like drags are pulled along the bottom until they are filled with oysters, at which time they are hoisted onto the boat and unloaded. The task of dragging oysters requires a great deal of skill or a farmer can do considerable damage to his holdings.