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OYSTERS


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Kiwithrottlejockey
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« on: March 02, 2010, 11:32:09 pm »


First oyster haul thrills skipper

The Southland Times | 5:00AM - Tuesday, 02 March 2010

GOOD HAUL: “Golden Lea” skipper Brian Hawke celebrates a good opening day. — BARRY HARCOURT/The Southland Times.
GOOD HAUL: “Golden Lea” skipper Brian Hawke celebrates a
good opening day. — BARRY HARCOURT/The Southland Times.


Oyster lovers throughout the country were smacking their lips in anticipation yesterday, with boats heading out into Foveaux Strait before dawn to start dredging for the plump delicacy.

And they weren't disappointed.

The opening of the Bluff oyster season yesterday was described as the best in 10 years, with industry experts tipping the season to be a good one, pointing to large healthy specimens being slurped down by aficionados.

One boat, the Golden Lea, returned with 61 sacks laden with the sought-after prize, believed to be the best effort of the day. Other boats reported a haul of between 30 and 40 sacks.

The tasty morsels have been described as juicy and plump.

Golden Lea skipper Brian Hawke said he was thrilled with his boat-load on day one.

"It's the best I have had for about 10 years."

Heading out with his crew about 3.45am, he returned just after 3pm with a haul of good-sized oysters, he said. The oyster beds appeared to be in good health, which boded well for the rest of the season, he said.

"It's getting a wee bit better every year."

The industry was devastated by the disease bonamia in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when the beds were ravaged and reduced to less than 10 per cent of their pre-disease size.

Since then, through considerable conservation efforts and a self-imposed tighter quota system, the industry has clawed its way back to health, and demand for the Bluff oyster remains strong.


Oyster Shellraising!

Barnes Oysters manager Graeme Wright said people had lined up at his factory shop throughout the day hoping to get their hands on the first pottles of the Bluff beauties, and his telephone had not stopped ringing.

The oysters would sell at his factory for $22 a dozen, $1 more than last year.

The price increase was indicative of rising costs associated with the industry, he said.

Most oysters would be kept in Southland for at least the first week, but northern oyster lovers would be able to get their hands on the delicacies soon, Mr Wright said.

Early indications were that this season would be a good one, with surveys revealing the oyster beds to be in growing health, he said.

"Each year they just get a bit bigger."

He agreed yesterday's opening was the best in 10 years.

"It's a really good, positive sign."

While the Fisheries Ministry had set an industry quota of 14.95 million oysters, industry stakeholders would start the season with a self-imposed quota of 7.5 million, Mr Wright said.

The quota would be looked at again after a month and possibly adjusted upwards if the beds were healthy enough, he said.

Meanwhile, lucky southern oyster fans had a chance, albeit brief, to get their hands on some of the Bluff oysters through a radio promotion raising money for the Cancer Society.

Oysters were picked up by helicopter early yesterday morning and transported to Invercargill, where they were sold on the street for $25 a dozen.

Forty-eight dozen were sold in less than an hour, netting the society about $1600.

Invercargill real estate agent Tim Frampton bid $412.50 for 10 dozen oysters through a charity auction — and promptly gave them back so they could be given away.

Mr Frampton said he was a fan of oysters but thought giving them away was a worthier cause.


http://www.stuff.co.nz/southland-times/news/3391929/First-oyster-haul-thrills-skipper
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DazzaMc
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« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2010, 10:15:32 pm »

Mmmmmm... mine are in the mail.


Cant wait!

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DazzaMc
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« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2010, 09:00:58 am »

*** SPAM ALERT *** SPAM ALERT ***

By me...  spamming...  for the first time ever...

This website I've just completed - it has a silly little survey on it re oysters... 
If you're bored for a bit - could ye just go and click 'yay or nay'?

It's just below the menu on the left side...


END SPAM.

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Kiwithrottlejockey
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« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2010, 08:30:58 pm »


Oyster thefts prompt use of tickets

By GRANT BRYANT - The Southland Times | 5:00AM - Tuesday, 30 March 2010

JUST THE TICKET: Fresh Choice store floor manager Mark Nickolls displays the new ticketing system introduced after many thefts of Bluff oysters. — SUE FEA/The Southland Times.
JUST THE TICKET: Fresh Choice store floor manager Mark Nickolls
displays the new ticketing system introduced after many thefts
of Bluff oysters. — SUE FEA/The Southland Times.


A Queenstown supermarket has started issuing tickets for Bluff oysters in an effort to combat a wave of shoplifting by backpackers.

Fresh Choice co-owner Tony Wild said the supermarket had annual theft losses of up to $250,000.

Backpackers on low-cost holidays had become increasingly aware of anti-theft measures such as electronic tagging used in product packaging, and were adapting their methods to beat increased store security, he said.

"We've got 36 cameras, use floor walkers and have an EAS system which beeps at the entrance if it detects items that haven't been paid for. But backpackers in particular are eating a lot of food while they're here, then just ditching the packaging."

The supermarket had started issuing tickets for pottles of Bluff oysters about 10 days ago because so many of the expensive $23.99-a-dozen delicacies were eaten in store.

The ticket order was now filled by a checkout operator, which tied up staff and caused customers to wait. The same system was implemented by some Invercargill supermarkets and fish suppliers in 2006.

Mr Wild said the inconvenience caused to honest customers was a concern, but such measures had to be taken, Mr Wild said.

"We caught one guy who had been seen putting eggs into his pockets then discovered he had a kilo of bacon and fillet steak on him as well," he said.

"The same guy then claimed he was having a heart attack, and tried to call an ambulance so he could avoid the police."

But Mr Wild said the loss of consumables eaten in store were minor compared with thefts of high-cost items such as women's beauty products and luxury food items that were targeted by backpackers.

Two people were arrested for shoplifting last week, but the number of people caught for the crime was the "tip of the iceberg" compared with those who got away, Mr Wild said.

Queenstown police Constable Sean Drader said shoplifters arrested at Fresh Choice were more from overseas than from Queenstown or other New Zealand locations.

Wakatipu New World co-owner Mary Thompson said she had not seen any measurable increase in shoplifting recently.


http://www.stuff.co.nz/southland-times/news/3525162/Oyster-thefts-prompt-use-of-tickets
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« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2010, 06:15:43 pm »


Young oyster-openers wanted

By SCOT MacKAY - The Southland Times | Thursday, 08 April 2010

THE OYSTER'S YOUR WORLD: (From front) Jimmy Ryan-Thoms, Cory Boyce, Colin Smith and Graham Hunt open oysters at Direct Fish and Oyster in Bluff. There are just three under 25 who work there. — BARRY HARCOURT/The Southland Times.
THE OYSTER'S YOUR WORLD: (From front) Jimmy Ryan-Thoms,
Cory Boyce, Colin Smith and Graham Hunt open oysters at Direct
Fish and Oyster in Bluff. There are just three under 25 who
work there. — BARRY HARCOURT/The Southland Times.


The ageing work force of oyster openers could mean an industry-wide struggle to keep up with demand to open oysters in the future.

Oyster openers in Southland are, on average, in their late 50s to early 60s with some working into their 70s.

Direct Fish and Oyster co-owner Karen Calder said it was becoming harder to find young people to do the job and that could create problems when the more experienced workers retired.

Oyster openers were paid up to $300 a day before tax, depending on how much they opened, but the job suited the lifestyle of only a few people because it was physical, weather-dependant and lasted just three or four months, she said.

If the weather was good, workers could open oysters for as long as the boats kept coming in, but if the weather was bad they could have weeks off, Mrs Calder said.

"It is a major problem. If you do not have the constant work we cannot entice people into the industry. It used to be the season coincided with the freezing works, but now they (the works) go for much longer."

Workers can open up to 6000 oysters on a good day, but they need at least two and a half years of training to do that.

If young openers could not be found, the demand for oysters could outstrip supply all season because of the lack of openers, Mrs Calder said.

To put that figure into perspective, last year Keith Lovett opened 50 oysters in 2 minutes and 32 seconds at the annual Bluff Oyster and Food Festival oyster opening competition.

Barnes Oysters manager Graeme Wright said he was conscious of the future of the industry as his workers were also averaging in the late 50s, with two of them older than 70.

The lack of young people coming through and gaining experience could be a problem, he said.

Mrs Calder said one way to attract younger workers was to increase the quota because that would increase the length of the season, but that decision would be made by the Bluff Oyster Management Company after assessing the impact of oyster catching.

Jimmy Ryan-Thoms, one of three workers aged under 25 at Direct Fish and Oyster, enjoyed the job but said he would need to find another fulltime job in the off-season because he could not survive on the money from the short season.


http://www.stuff.co.nz/southland-times/news/3556316/Young-oyster-openers-wanted
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« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2013, 12:36:33 pm »


Oysters Ahoy!

Big, fat, juicy and here

By COLLETTE DEVLIN - The Southland Times | 5:00AM - Saturday, 02 March 2013

SHUCKING SHIFT: Workers process Bluff oysters at Barnes Oysters yesterday. — NICOLE GOURLEY/The Southland Times.
SHUCKING SHIFT: Workers process Bluff oysters at Barnes Oysters yesterday.
 — NICOLE GOURLEY/The Southland Times.


TEY'RE BIG, they're juicy and they're here.

About 180,000 Bluff oysters, 15,000 dozen, were dredged in Foveaux Strait yesterday on the first day of the oyster season.

Bluff Oyster Management Company spokesman and Barnes Oysters manager Graeme Wright said skippers were happy with the first catch and the haul was as good as last year.

The oysters tasted "bloody good" and were quite large, he said.

Eleven oyster boats went out and early indications were it could be a healthy season, Mr Wright said.

Oystermen spent the first day combing the large area looking for good spots, he added.

"So far it's looking pretty good but the weather wasn't pleasant on the strait".

In 2012, the Bluff oyster fishery showed signs of growth, allowing the industry to harvest 2 million more oysters than in previous years after the industry's quota was increased.

A self-regulated limit of 9.53 million oysters was bumped up to 11.5 million.

The Toiler was one of the first boats to return to Bluff Harbour yesterday with about 60 bins of the highly anticipated molluscs on board.

Skipper John Edminstin said he was happy with his catch, which was slightly better than last year.

He had sampled a few of the oysters and declared them "juicy and delicious".

The boat left Bluff harbour about 11pm on Thursday. "It wasn't nice, it was raining and sloppy".

Mr Edminstin said he had found a good spot with big oysters and would return again this morning. "I also found a great spot that I will keep for the Bluff oyster festival on May 25".

It was hard to tell the state of the fishery after just the first day of the season but he expected he would have a clearer indication in about three weeks.

About 40 Southlanders and several tourists queued outside Barnes Oysters on Spey Street before it opened at 1.30pm to buy the season's first oysters and people continued to stream into the shop throughout the afternoon.

Many were regulars who picked up a few dozen on the first day of the season.

Georgina Ellis, of Invercargill, said she had been buying oysters on March 1st every day since Barnes opened.

The oysters, $23 a dozen for first grade, were worth every penny and she was taking them to family in Arrowtown this weekend.

Jackie and Eddie King, of England, had been passing through Invercargill on holiday when they heard about the "famous Bluff oyster", so decided to stay for a few extra days to find out for themselves. "We were not disappointed," they said.

Most people were stocking up for family members and almost everyone said they would be cooking them for tea last night. Barnes shop manager Dania Todd said it was the only day the shop sold the same day's catch.

"It's the freshest people will ever get oysters," she said.

One Invercargill woman was stocking up because she was going away for the weekend with her husband and hoped they really did have aphrodisiac properties.

While some oysters were flown to restaurants in Auckland yesterday, some would be transported today to restaurants in Wellington, including master chef Simon Gault's restaurant Euro.


http://www.stuff.co.nz/southland-times/news/8371772/Oysters-Ahoy



Bluff oyster given the personal touch

By COLLETTE DEVLIN - The Southland Times | 5:00AM - Saturday, 02 March 2013

OYSTERS!

THE BLUFF OYSTER is reputedly one of the best in the world, I am told, but until yesterday, I could not personally vouch for this.

Despite living in Invercargill for the past two years I had never eaten a Bluff oyster — in fact I have never tried oysters of any sort from anywhere in the world.

I am not what you would call a seafood fan.

In Ireland, I avoided fish and only picked over a battered cod and chips.

My opinion changed slightly when I moved to Southland and discovered blue cod, now happily eaten sans batter — quite an achievement for me.

So, armed with my newfound love for at least one type of seafood, I made the bold move to give oysters a whirl.

And what better sample to try than the world famous Bluff variety.

"When in Rome" and all that.

Unsure what to expect taste and texture wise, I was a little nervous as I stood in the factory waiting for my turn.

A blob of slime was staring up at me from a freshly shucked shell.

Surely this wasn't what all the fuss was about?

I didn't know how to eat it, so watched as an expert showed me how.

When my turn came, the first thing I thought was be brave, it can't be that bad.

Turns out the little things aren't so little and I contempleted cutting it just to be able to eat it, but the laughter at the suggestion convinced me to just give it a go.

All I could smell was the sea and as I slurped it into my mouth, all I could taste was the sea.

I chewed, at first I thought I was going to be sick but then my tastebuds kicked in.

It sounds strange but I could almost taste the ruggedness of the Foveaux Strait.

It was not as strong as I expected, and I actually enjoyed the flavour.

Some of my colleagues were appalled I had eaten it raw, they clearly have not been converted to the joy that is the Bluff oyster.

I am not jumping for a chance at trying another, but the idea of the oyster festival in May has become a lot more appealing.


http://www.stuff.co.nz/southland-times/news/8371773/Bluff-oyster-given-the-personal-touch
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« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2013, 01:31:50 pm »


Oysters in hot demand

The Southland Times | 1:45PM - Tuesday, 05 March 2013



TALK about busy.

The video, taken from a camera installed at Barnes Oysters in Invercargill, captures oyster lovers in their droves coming into buy the southern delicacy.

Barnes Oysters manager Graeme Wright said the camera was installed by Computer Supplyline Ltd in his shop for about four hours on Friday.

That day the store sold out of oysters.

Computer Supplyline Ltd owner Mike Wood said it was a dealer for GoPro video cameras and when they installed an eftpos machine at Barnes Oysters they decided to do a timelapse video to capture the steady stream of people coming in.


http://www.stuff.co.nz/southland-times/news/8384063/Oysters-in-hot-demand
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