Sunday, December 20, 2009

The end of Oysters?

oysters from FranceThe French are big oyster lovers. Especially at the end of the year, when everybody celebrates Christmas and the New Year with a platter of oysters. Half of the total yearly amount - 120 000 tonnes in France -  is consumed at the end of the year!

But now they say that the oyster production will diminish with 50 percent for next year and even 70 percent for 2011. It is the baby oysters that die massively. The scientists talk about virus and bacteria, but nobody really knows if that is the only reason. Warmer water, mild winters, pollution are other possible offenders.

Oysters are classified by size, where size 3 is the most sold. Not too big, not too small. And this year already, there are less of them. The producers usually plan their growth to have a maximum of size 3 for the end of the year, but since so many died, those who survived had too much to eat and grew a lot faster than usual....

We will see what will happen, but I will ask for some extra oysters in the days to come. Next year they might be too expensive... Read more about the oyster crisis in  the French newspaper Le Sudouest. And about some hope, of a virus resistent oyster to come in 2015.

Oyster picture from Wikipedia Commons.

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