Oyster harvesters ‘battle life and limb’ for Bluff festival

21 May / Louisa Steyl / Stuff

Oyster harvesters “battled life and limb” this week to make sure there were plenty to enjoy at the Bluff Oyster and Food Festival on Saturday.

Barnes Wild Bluff Oysters manager Graeme Wright said there had been years in the festival’s history when there really weren’t enough of the delicacy to go around, but he was confident that wouldn’t be the case this year.

After a strong start to the season with “great” weather in March, the weather since Easter had been “tragic,” he said.

But given his boats were harvesting from the wild fishery in the Foveaux Strait, dealing with strong winds and rough seas was simply “the nature of the beast”, Wright said.

The boats were out in stormy weather that they wouldn’t usually brave on Thursday and were rewarded with more than 2000 dozen fresh Bluff oysters, he said.

Wright said the cold and rain shouldn’t put revellers off the festival.

“Just put your woolly socks on. Have a great time,” he said.

Oysters aside, there will be plenty of food on offer at this year’s Bluff Oyster and Food Festival.

Seafood lovers can look forward to everything from three different paua recipes, to blue cod, whitebait and salmon, while meat lovers will have plenty to choose from too.

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