Oyster farming never looked so glamorous

FISH on Good Friday? You’ve come to the right place.

There will be no shortage in demand for seafood over the Easter long weekend with those in the local industry preparing for what is traditionally a massive weekend.

Greenwell Point fisherman Mark Bell said Christmas was when he faced the most demand but Easter was generally a healthy second.

He has been preparing to sell from the Shoalhaven Oyster Service shed at Greenwell Point.

“Whiting and flathead are traditionally what we’re getting at this time of year, but flathead, flake, mirror dory, snapper and gem fish are always popular.

“The population of Shoalhaven and Greenwell Point in particular really swells over this Easter break and a lot of those people are here for the seafood and oysters.”

While there will be oysters for sale this year unfortunately they won’t be local.

The high rainfall has restricted harvest locally.

Brian and Barry Allen said local oyster farmers have to cop it on the chin.

“We’ve only had one Easter where we could harvest in the last five years,” Barry said.

“Because of the rain, the season this year was only three months and three weeks. But we needed the rain.

“There will be plenty of fish around though.”

The staff at Nowra Fresh are prepared to move massive amounts of seafood and massive numbers of customers through the store on Good Friday.

Co-owner Brad Banks said they were expecting to sell about two tonne of Atlantic salmon, 500kg of flathead filets, five or six tonne of prawns and 2500 dozen oysters. 

“We are open Good Friday and we’re expecting a lot of people to come through the store,” he said.

“We did just over 3500 customers on one day over Christmas.

“We’re expecting people to be in and out in about five minutes,” he said.

In a bid to boost the oyster industry as a tourist attraction the oyster trail was launched recently.

Photographer Heide Smith from Narooma photographed most of the South Coast oyster farmers to promote the Oyster Coast.  A 300 kilometre oyster trail has been established. 

“This subject matter was great. I used to have a professional studio in Canberra, when you’re doing portraits of people you have to flatter but here I had the freedom to shoot it as it was,” she said.

“The people were very varied, and individual. They were great people. Very hard working.”

View Mrs Smith’s photos at www.heidesmith.com. Learn more about the oyster trail at  www.oystercoast.com.au.

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