Traditionally, the Native oyster season runs from 01 September to 30 April, and this is where the old adage about only eating them when there is a ‘r’ in the month comes from.
The primary reason for this is biology as from May to August the oysters are in breeding mode. As a result, they are not is prime condition to be eaten. More detail here.
As an aside, we have seen many comments along the line that it also illegal to sell Natives outside of the season. In actual fact, it is only illegal to sell Natives outside of the season if they have been taken from a fishery.
In general, almost all Native oysters for sale are fished from wild beds, such as those from Loch Ryan in the South of Scotland. In England there are still fisheries in the River Fal, Whitstable and several other locations, but production is a fraction of what it once was.
When it comes to Native oysters, which are now arguable an endangered species, there are huge question marks around any of the wild fisheries. Are the existing fisheries really sustainable? Is use of dredging equipment actually acceptable given the environmental impacts it can have?
This is a moral maze, but we are somewhat unique as we do not fish for Natives, we grow them on our oyster farm, and this his means that our Scottish Native oysters are 100% sustainable. These are unique and rare, and represent Scottish shellfish at its best.
All said and done though, we also only sell our Natives during the traditional season, and that shall be upon us shortly!
As per previous years, we shall be releasing the our Scottish Natives in small batches. Please get in touch if you would like further details.