Oyster farmers say they are in a race against time. Shortly before the Christmas holidays, things are looking “really, really bad” for the farms.
France’s oyster farmers were hit hard by the violent hurricane “Ciaran” last week. The storm devastated a large part of the oyster farms, said the president of the National Mussel Farming Association, Philippe Le Gal, to the broadcaster BFMTV.
Sand in particular covers the facilities and makes harvesting just before the Christmas holidays more difficult. “If you take the Atlantic coast and the Channel coast, an estimated 3,000 businesses are potentially affected.” Before “Ciaran”, storm “Céline” and immediately afterwards storm “Domingos” hit the coast.
France is the most important oyster supplier in Europe, with around 81,000 tons of oysters annually and a turnover of over 400 million euros. After the storms, a race against time begins for oyster farmers.
It is important to salvage the breeding facilities as quickly as possible and save as many oysters as possible, said the head of the association. Because once the oysters were in the water, silted up or became muddy, they threatened to die. “A month before the Christmas holidays, things are looking really, really bad.”
Report BFMTV National Mussel Farming Association