Aquavitex is a French brand created in 2015 by Jean-Philippe AUNIS. It offers professionals in the land, sea and agri-food industries technical and waterproof personal protective equipment designed to improve their daily lives.
Today we introduce our new ambassador, Sébastien Barreau. He is an oyster farmer at the 4th bridge of the Polder in the town of Bouin next to the port of Le Bec in the Vendée. User of Aquavitex equipment, he is now part of our ambassador network.
Sébastien participated in the development of the new AQUAVITEX PRO RS oilskins and bib and braces overalls.
On a sunny day, we went to his shed to visit his workplace and his oyster beds along the Gois de Noirmoutier. This meeting is a great opportunity to learn more about the oyster farming profession.
Aquavitex: Hello Sébastien, can you introduce yourself briefly?
Sébastien : Hello, my name is Sébastien Barreau, I am an oyster farmer in the commune of Bouin and manager of the company SBGG. In total, we are a team of 3 people. I work with Alicia and Julien.
Aquavitex: Can you tell us what your job is?
Sébastien: Our job is to produce oysters that we order from our neighbour, Vivian, who is another of your AQUAVITEX ambassadors, an oyster farmer and manager of his Atlantic Naissain nursery. Once we receive our spat, generally graded in 6 and 8 mm called T6 or T8, we place them in oyster bags on our beds to grow them. The oysters are sold once each has reached the size at which it can be sold. This rearing process takes about 3 years. We cultivate several sizes of oysters, for example, the oysters of 4 mm are the smallest that we market. Then you have the size 3 which is the most in demand, then the size 2 which is the most fleshy, then the size 1 and finally the special oyster which is rarer and very powerful in the mouth!
Aquavitex: When did you start working as an oyster farmer?
Sébastien: At the very beginning, I started working in this field with my parents. I worked with them in the family fish shop and then I wanted to work in this sector. I started working on my own in January 2010; at the beginning I was mainly involved in reselling. Then I started to produce my own oysters at the end of 2011. It was only in 2013 that I made my first sales on the markets of Beauvoir-sur-Mer.
Aquavitex: What motivated you to become an ambassador for Aquavitex?
Sébastien: Jean-Philippe AUNIS is a customer of ours, he regularly uses my products. He often came to me to ask about the proper functioning of his creations. He provided me with prototypes so that I and my teams could test them in the field. As we went along, we corrected the small defects to create the perfect equipment for the aquaculture industry. It was natural for me to become an ambassador for Aquavitex, once the products are effective and of high quality, we all use them daily in the field.
Aquavitex: As a user of Aquavitex products in the field, what is your opinion?
Sébastien: I think that the products are very qualitative. They are robust, we know we are safe working with them on the field. As oyster farmers, we can easily damage our equipment and the fabrics used by Aquavitex help us work in great conditions.
Aquavitex: Concerning your activity, do you plan to make any future purchases (either for operations or for equipment)?
Sébastien: At the moment, we’re full on! For the equipment, we had to change itand so we invested in neoprene chest waders, double layer PVC chest waders, comfort aprons and Aquavitex cuffs. We are looking forward to the new PRO RS oilskins and the new PROS RS bib and braces overalls. This equipment is made of their new AQUA RS fabric, which is highly resistant to cuts and abrasion. As for our field, we will also be expanding and making new purchases. We are planning to expand so that we can grow about 3 million extra oysters per year.
Aquavitex: How is your shed and your different oyster beds organised?
Sébastien: Depending on when we put them in the sea, we will recover those that are mature and ready to be sold. We have set up a colour code to remind us of the different sizes of oysters in the bags. This way, we know which oysters to leave in the sea for a longer time so that they can grow more. In order for the oysters to grow in volume, we need to leave them in the sea longer than the smaller oysters. The sizes of the oysters also organise our sales on the markets, we will sell the large oysters at a certain time and the smaller ones at another.
Aquavitex: Finally, how would you describe the Aquavitex brand products?
Sébastien: For me, Aquavitex products are very comfortable, innovative, resistant and safe for aquaculture professionals. They are truly caring in their approach to improve our working conditions.