Jersey's oyster producers stall growth of product to stop backlog of stock

Credit: ITV Channel TV

Jersey's oyster producers are having to slow down the development of their oysters as they can't export them.

The Jersey Oyster Company has told ITV News that stalling their growth might give the business a better chance of survival.

When this pandemic hit our sales stopped and straight away it started a backlog of stock. We applied to the States of Jersey for a temporary concession area higher up the beach. So because the oysters are out of the water for 50% of the time it slows the growth rate down and we are able to hold them but I have got about 200 tonnes of unsold stock of oysters at the moment.

Chris Le Masurier, Jersey Oyster Company

The Jersey Oyster Company produces 1,000 tonnes of oysters a year and 150 tonnes of mussels, making them the largest oyster growers in the British Isles.

Nearly all of their product is exported overseas, but with the export market still on hold, Chris has become reliant on the local market to sell his shellfish.

He is hoping the restaurant industry will start up again soon so he can start exporting his product before he ends up with too much stock and nowhere to sell it.

The Jersey Oyster farm spans fifty hectares of beach concession. Credit: ITV Channel TV

More and more people are trying home deliveries in the UK and here, the wholesale market is showing signs of picking up with some UK customers asking if I am ready, you know restaurants are starting up again with alfresco dining and that is really good.

Chris Le Masurier, Jersey Oyster Company