Oysters Open for Harvest in Port Stephens

The sign says it all: ‘Do not buy black oysters!’.

 

FARMING oysters is a bit like farming the land in as much as, if you have a good crop and all others haven’t, the price rises and you cash in.

Remember the cyclones which ravaged the banana plantations in Queensland?

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The Coffs Harbour growers were not affected and made a fortune with bananas retailing for around $16 per kilo in supermarkets.

It’s a little bit like that now as Port Stephens growers have been cleared to sell their product while other areas are out of action after the heavy rains.

As one farmer said, “The oysters are fat with a lot of feed available to them and with limited supply in the markets the price has risen.”

Farmers ask local residents not to buy ‘black’ oysters from unknown sellers as they are most likely to be stolen.

Paul North said that the holiday period in particular poses a problem with thefts from oyster depots and the racks.

“We are fighting back with CCTV and I have even employed a drone to patrol my leases from the air,” Paul said.

“It saves me a lot of time,” he said.

 

By Geoff WALKER

 

Paul with his surveillance drone.

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