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Scoop Images: Oysters get VIP escort

Scoop Images: Oysters get VIP escort

News Release
March 3, 2000

Oysters get VIP escort

The first of the season’s Bluff oysters are to get a VIP guard on their journey to points north on Sunday (March 5).

Invercargill mayor Tim Shadbolt is to escort the initial shipment on an Air New Zealand flight out of the south at 7am.

Mayor Shadbolt is making his deliveries only in Auckland but other centres won’t miss out.

Fourteen Big Fresh supermarkets throughout the country will all have limited supplies of Bluff oysters on Sunday. About 940 dozen oysters will be shipped out of Bluff by Big Fresh on Sunday.

Mayor Shadbolt will visit all Auckland Big Fresh supermarkets beginning with the Mt Wellington store at about 11.30am.

Mr Shadbolt said he was proud to help bring Southland’s “most valuable export” to the rest of the country.

“Bluff oysters are worth about $20 million to our economy down here; it’s a big boost for us,” Mr Shadbolt said.

“And being a great oyster lover myself I know how people have been hanging out for the Bluff season to begin.”

The first shipments of oysters will sell at Big Fresh stores nation-wide for $15.95 a dozen. The season begins on Sunday (March 5) and runs through to the end of August.

The Ministry of Fisheries in Dunedin says that although the number of oysters in the Strait is back to around one billion, there are a number of bare patches in the beds and other areas.

Therefore this year the harvest remains at just under 15 million for the third year in a row.

Oyster fishers had better take their sea sick pills with them on Saturday night. The weather forecast for the Foveaux Strait area on Saturday night is for two metre swells and 25 knot north-west winds.


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