Most Popular Post

Friday, 16 February 2018

Growing oysters

Raw oysters on the half shell may appear to be a long way from this place. 




However, this is where many oysters begin their journey to the oyster bars, tables in finer restaurants and our own tables. 


On this beautiful winter day, a drive along the north shore took us past the PEI Oyster Company. The facilities, located on one side of a bridge, were deserted. On the opposite side, four men worked on 




and under the ice. Burr...




At the worksite on the frozen bay, the men had cut out blocks of ice to allow access to the diver. Beneath them are the oysters which are at various stages of development. The growing time is from five to seven years to achieve market size. The process, at various stages, involves mesh bags, racks 




and cages. 




The frozen bay is no deterrent to these fishers.


I always admired fishers because of my knowledge of my grandfather’s work as a fisherman in Newfoundland. However, this glimpse of the oyster fishery today added another dimension to my appreciation of this work.

37 comments:

  1. Right now is when I want to laugh at the people who say “I’ve worked hard to get where I am”. The bulk of us, who work in cushy offices, have no idea what HARD work actually is. I think that too when pass the fields when winter strawberries are being picked. They labor, bent over, in the cold and rain. There is working hard and then there is HARD damn work.

    ReplyDelete
  2. When I climb Oyster Dome, a favorite hike, I see oyster beds out in the water. We can get fresh oysters here, but I know little to nothing about the process. You continue to educate me. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don’t imagine it freezes there, Jan?

      Delete
  3. I just can't imagine such cold. I never realized oysters grew in such cold water. I thought they were warm water creatures. Very interesting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oysters grow in a variety of environments, Barbara.

      Delete
  4. I never realized that oysters take so long to reach market size!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know. Neither did I. I saw 2-4 years in one place but the industry website for the island states 5-7.

      Delete
  5. I would not like to dive in there in winter.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wow. I had no idea oysters were managed like this. Of course they are. Now naive to think they are harvested in the wild, one at a time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know, Joanne. I knew about the warm weather oyster harvest but not about this winter work.

      Delete
  7. no wonder they are so expensive, they should actually cost more!! i could never be comfortable working on ice like, for myself or a loved one. a very interesting post!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They should cost more, Debbie.

      Delete
    2. to answer your question from today: i don't know about the old coot phrase - but they do fly. i read that they are an "unusual" flyer and it takes a long run/space for them to take off!!

      Delete
  8. Love oysters, my favourite trip on Saturdays (also Wednesday if feel so inclined) is to our local market. We love them fresh and we are only an hour from the sea so they are all very fresh. Interesting that they cut the ice in winter to collect them.
    Happy weekend Diane

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You live in an ideal location for seafood, Diane.

      Delete
  9. Amazing. I didn't realize it took that long to mature for market.
    Very hard work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That’s what the industry information says here, P.

      Delete
  10. Very informative. Please comment and follow my blog. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Whoa! I had no idea it took that long to have a marketable oyster! Interesting post!!

    ReplyDelete
  12. That seems like a very hard job. I don't think I'd be very happy working on or under ice.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hello... Have a great Saturday... Please comment and follow my blog. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  14. That is quite the process and hard work. I wouldn't want to be going under the ice in winter.

    ReplyDelete
  15. The things I learn here. The second and third picture .... let me confirm... yes, the second and the third are amazing... I have never seen such an activity in pictures or in any other form. Beautiful.
    I love oysters. When I think of oysters I always think of Saint-Sebastian-sur-Loire (in France). That day, my cousins took me to this little restaurant near the beach. The owner (who he knew) kept bringing trays and trays full of delicious oysters... and I kept eating and eating ... To this day I am still thankful (and surprised) I did not get sick. And the second : ) best part? They were free. What a nice restaurant owner!! : )

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That was an incredible gift, Catarina. I could never eat that many raw oysters. I like them cooked.

      Delete
  16. Gosh that's a chilly job Marie. I didn't realise it took that long for oysters to form.. 5 to 7 years just to be swallowed in a minute.. amazing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know. Nothing to eating them, everything to grow.

      Delete
  17. You have to be tough to work outdoors in those freezing temps! I used to work outdoors for about 6 years and as mild as our weather is it was still tough in the winter x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Working outside in winter here is not easy, Jane.

      Delete
  18. Even "modern day" fishing, with all its new processes and methods, is hard work!

    ReplyDelete