Crowds welcome oyster festival’s return24 May
Oyster harvesters ‘battle life and limb’ for Bluff festival21 May
Strong sales in first month of Bluff oyster season08 April
Oysters back for ‘passionate’ Southland03 March
Bluff oysters are on their way ... very soon02 March
‘Surprisingly strong’ year for oyster firm21 August
Hoping to step up supply of oysters25 April
Shucks, Bluff oyster season looks set to be pearler05 March
Encouraging signs as young oysters appear in latest season03 March
Industry reckons it is oysters on Monday29 February
Aw, shucks - yet another title27 May
Frisky Bluff oysters not so plump05 April
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
02 March / Jono Edwards - Otago Daily Times
Bluff oysters are likely to make their first Otago appearance today, as an uncertain season begins for the Southland delicacy.
Vessels began dredging for the prized seafood yesterday.
The first oysters arrived in Bluff just before noon.
Dunedin’s Harbour Fish and Best Cafe, usually two of the first outlets in the city to get their hands on the shellfish, both said they would stock them today.
Barnes Oysters general manager Graeme Wright said densities remained relatively low, as they did in previous years.
While the industry was allowed to take 15 million oysters from the Foveaux Strait fishery throughout the season, it would start with 10million, as it did last year, to ensure sustainability.
Mr Wright’s shop in Invercargill would sell them for $25 a dozen, but he imagined they could be slightly pricier elsewhere.
The wild oyster fishery was lucky it so far had avoided Bonamia ostreae, which caused the closure of Stewart Island oyster farms last year, he said.
This would also affect the overall supply, he said.
“To date, we’ve dodged a bullet. The ministry has done a very good job of monitoring.”
The Ministry for Primary Industries this week announced the last round of testing in February showed no positives for the disease.
There was a “bit of spat”, meaning larvae which have attached to a surface, this year and last year in the fishery, he said.
“We should start to see things grow in a few years.”
Mr Wright would stock Invercargill first today, before supplying distributors further north this afternoon.
In Queenstown, restaurants Pier 19 and Botswana Butchery hoped to have their first delivery of oysters today.
Junction Fish Supply in Oamaru said it was not expecting its first shipment until next week.
The season lasts until August 31, or earlier, if the quota is reached.