Demand strong as Bluff oysters hit the market04 March
Fleet ready to launch for start of oyster season28 February
Oyster opener claims eighth title28 May
Early season Bluff oyster prices driven by “insatiable” demand06 March
Bluff oysters in short supply after ‘chaos’03 March
First Bluff oysters expected today02 March
First oysters of the season arrive in Bluff01 March
Oysters the order of the day as connoisseurs flock from afar22 May
The battle for the Bluff oyster gets under way for the 2017 season01 March
Big crowds and tight squeezes at the 2016 Bluff Oyster and Food Festival21 May
Bluff oysters in the blood of many Southlanders05 March
Transport World to open pop up oyster bar for start of oyster season01 March
Oyster-lovers get prepared26 February
Barnes Wild Bluff Oysters to feature in NZ Post TV ad19 August
Bluff oyster quota achieved after stormy season10 August
Bluff oyster fleet on home stretch02 July
Bluff Oyster Fest 2015 - Results26 May
Oyster Fest a huge success25 May
Oyster openers prepare to compete21 May
Oyster season on track despite poor weather01 May
VIDEO: Surveying the fishery19 March
Changing times05 March
VIDEO: ONE NEWS - Opening of Bluff Oyster Season01 March
VIDEO: 3 News - Oyster lovers rejoice as season begins01 March
Oyster lovers get their orders in27 February
New look for Barnes Wild Bluff Oysters19 February
04 March / Evan Harding and Blair Jackson - Stuff
People trying to get their hands on some of the first Bluff oysters on sale
this season were prepared to sneak away from work on Monday and queue
out the door of businesses selling the southern delicacy.
Invercargill man Bob Graham, who works just across the road from
Barnes Wild Bluff Oysters, had ducked out to pick up 10 dozen oysters
for him and his coworkers. When asked how long they would last, he was
not hopeful of their longevity.
“They’ll probably be gone by the time I get back to the front door,” Graham said.
“I’ve been buying them as long as I can remember. And I’ll be back for more this weekend.”
Restaurants in the south were also boasting adding oysters to the menu.
Speights Ale House chef Nathan Wheeler said they were offering the oysters fresh or battered.
“They’ve got their own natural flavour. We don’t want to take away from that”.
Barnes Wild Bluff Oysters manager Graeme Wright said boats that fished
for its company had got out into the strait on Saturday and Sunday and
caught about 3500 dozen oysters.
Westerly winds had prevented them spending too much time on the water but they were out again on Monday, he said.
“I have had a couple [of oysters], they taste just fine.”
Ngai Tahu Seafood sales manager Ken Gray said their boats had also
caught Bluff oysters during the weekend and were out again on Monday.
“I had to steal one. The customers are demanding them.”
The oyster was beautiful, he said. “They are always nice.”
Demand far outweighed supply in the early stages of the season, Gray said.
“Normally up until Easter the market’s strong. Everyone wants to get an early taste.”
The industry can take up to 14.95 million oysters from Foveaux Strait
per season but it has given itself an initial limit of 7.5 million this
season. That number may increase subject to survey results.
In recent seasons, in a bid to manage the fishery, the industry had set itself a limit of 10 million.
Last week, Wright said early evidence suggested there was very little or no oyster parasite Bonamia this season but formal testing results were not yet through.
The Bluff oyster season began on March 1 and ends officially ends on August 31, or if the quota is reached before then.