Monday, February 4, 2013

Jersey oysters rebound--all plump, sweet and briny good

Emile Wamsteker for The Wall Street Journal 
Despite disease, overaggressive fishing and other factors that crippled New Jersey's once thriving oyster industry in the 1950s and again in the 1990s, fishermen who stuck to their
nets are experiencing a significant rebound, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Combining to foster healthy harvests in recent years are "advances in growing techniques, increased demand and a new push from the state to drive economic activity in some of its poorest counties," the paper reports

"After harvesting an annual average of 36,600 bushels in the 1990s, fishermen had a banner year in 2011, when 95,000 bushels were landed, though that number dipped last year to 78,000.
 "The industry is concentrated in the Delaware Bay, northwest of Cape May. The shallow bay's nutrients and water flow help make the oysters plump, sweet and briny, restaurateurs and oyster harvesters say."

Some New York dining establishments are taking note.

"Cape May Salts, a brand sold by large New Jersey producer Atlantic Capes Fisheries, are served in New York restaurants such as Maison Premiere and Telepan on Manhattan's Upper West Side. "These are perfectly balanced," said Bill Telepan, the restaurant's owner. "Customers will call me out and say these oysters were terrific."

Read the full story here

Check out this WSJ video about a management consultant turned oyster farmer

Related environmental news stories: 

N.J. oyster colony to be expanded   
Oysters Eyed as Help for New York Harbor 
Groups extend Delaware Bay oysters a warmer welcome

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