Oyster business looks to the future after rough few weeks

After a rough start to the season, Raspberry Point Oysters are already looking ahead to next year.

The business hopes new storage tanks will be ready by then and that will help alleviate the effects of bad weather.

The company harvests on the North Shore of P.E.I. and was forced to close down on Aug. 29 because of a heavy rain, said manager James Power.

"We had pre-harvested a week to 10 days worth of [oysters] because … you're losing about a week and then you're kind of back in business," he said. 

But post-tropical storm Dorian arrived shortly after, closing the waters for another 10 days. The two storms closed harvesting at Raspberry Point for over two weeks.

Leading up to the P.E.I. International Shellfish Festival festival this weekend, the business was getting nervous.

"We had nothing left before the water opened on Wednesday," said Power. "We had sold everything under the assumption that we would only be down a week or 10 days. Everybody was on pins and needles."

Once the waters reopened, the crew at Raspberry Point started harvesting as much as they could in an attempt to meet the festival's deadline.

At the 2018 festival, the business sold close to 3,000 oysters.

By early Saturday this year, they had already sold 2,200. They had to harvest more supply to meet the demand.

Travis Kingdon/CBC News

A new storage facility, part of the company's long-term plan, will be able to hold a four-week supply.

"We're hoping to have that done by January. And next September, when we get into hurricane season, we intend on having some stuff in our back pocket," he said.

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