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
28 February / Luisa Girao - Otago Daily Times
Boats are set to hit the high seas for the start of the Bluff oyster season.
It does not officially start until tomorrow, but up to a dozen boats usually leave Bluff the night before.
However, vessels may not be able to leave the harbour today, as
weather conditions for the next couple of days are not ideal for
Skeggs Seafood oysterman Mark Strange said he had been oyster fishing for 16 years. He had his hopes set on a productive season.
‘‘My job is really affected by the weather and the quality of the catch. We have ups and downs each year.’‘
Mr Strange wants to be in the ‘‘clean waters of the Foveaux Strait’’ as soon as possible.
‘‘Conditions are not great for [tomorrow], but it seems Saturday will get better. I just hope we have a good catch soon.’‘
Barnes Oysters general manager Graeme Wright said the oyster catch limit this year had been reduced to guarantee sustainability.
While the industry was officially allowed to take 14.95 million
oysters from the Foveaux Strait fishery throughout the season, it
decided to start with a limit of 7.5 million - 2.5 million less than
‘‘Oysters are very slow growing. The key piece of information is the fishery only takes two percent of what is there.’‘
Despite the reduction in numbers, Mr Wright expected a good season,
as the first tests at the wild oyster fishery did not show any sign of
Bonamia ostreae, the parasite that can have a devastating effect on
‘‘We have to wait until the boats come back with more samples to test
them. This can take weeks, but the early indication shows the chance of
diseases this year is very low.’‘
Mr Wright said Barnes would not increase the price and would sell oysters in its Invercargill shop for $25 a dozen.
The oyster season lasts until August 31, or earlier if the quota is reached.